isn’t writing horror a challenge? a mentally thrilling challenge that is! from a young age I have always loved the dark, unnatural depths of the scary.
my journey into horror writing began at a pretty young age. growing up I was always surrounded by horror. my mother who is also a horror fanatic and the reason as to why I am drawn to such a delightfully distasteful subculture introduced me to the dark and twisted world of nightmare fuel and has continued to support and inform me of any new horror material that my bloodthirsty hands thirst to get a hold on. of course, just like any other greedy horror fan, my thirst is never sated and for that I am grateful for it means that I have to actively dig deeper into the bowel’s of hell itself in order to entertain my readers and audience.
the first book that I ever read was Stephen Kings ‘the girl who loved Tom Gordon.’ I, at the time, was at least nine years old although I wasn’t completely sure of what was going on I still remember feeling on edge, thrilled and scared whilst reading it.
when I grew of age my fashion sense began leaning towards the dark side. horror t-shirts began to grace my once colorful wardrobe, leering alabaster white faces glowering out at me from the clothes rail as I sorted happily through my supernatural collection with pride to pick out the best outfit to terrify the neighbors. (and believe me, that happened a lot)
I became known as the neighborhood freak, and I loved it!
being different has always been my priority. fitting into the norm was and is something I have never been interested in. I have faced many trials and tribulations over my beliefs but not once have I caved in and rearranged myself in order to fit in. not even when it came to my writing.
now that to some may sound conceited and in some respects you are right. if I want acceptance and to be published then I need to tailor my work to that publication in order of having at least some hope in hell in seeing my work in print. but you know what? i’ve never done that. most publications I have sent my work too has accepted my work without changes to which i am very grateful for. we all know how sucky it feels to have spent hours, days, weeks and months on a piece in order to create perfection, submit it, only to receive the dreaded email of it not being good enough for that publication. it’s such a disheartened and it makes us as writers angry which is fine. it’s perfectly normal to feel that way. after all, our work is our baby. and no one likes being called a bad parent do they?
but i stray from the point.
i started writing my own horror fiction age 13. it started with fanfiction. being able to take a charector that i really liked and being able to rewrite the existing work into my own happy or in my case terrifying ending, filled me with such joy that i began to imagine scenario’s in my head of charectors of my own that were taking over my head, clawing their way to the surface of my brain until finally their stories bled out onto paper.
the ‘voices in my head’ as I call them, came to me in a flurry of demanding attention refusing me to live normally until I gave them what they wanted. as soon as I gave in, however, my life as a professional freelance writer began.
in 2014 I began my journey into becoming a professional freelance writer. I spent hours, days and weeks scouring the internet for information that would lead me once step closer to my dream job. I started writing articles for a voluntary site which I quite enjoyed. I wrote reviews on trending films, books, games and I even wrote articles on the gothic subculture and the hate-crime that comes with it.
but although this was a simple milestone in my career, I still found myself wanting more!
I wanted to write horror fiction. I wanted to be published in horror magazines and become worldwide renown for my infamous spooky cookiness and be that ‘writer’ who was up there with all the great scary story tellers of ages past. my greatest inspiration came from Edgar Allan Poe. I was and am enthralled by his work and desired to create a piece of fiction that would become just as infamous as his name.
well, it was a whole year before I finally got my first acceptance. in that time I had researched as many publications that were at the time calling for submissions and sent out as many stories as I possibly could in hopes of getting a reply. I would constantly check my email, a trait that I have learned to tame since, as being a newbe to the writing world is impatient and many new writers spend their time constantly checking their inboxes for that ‘congratulations! you have been accepted, please sign your contract and you will be notified on publication’ letter.
yes, I know, I admit, I still do it! (sheepishly hides face)
anyway, my break came on the month of September 2015 when a horror magazine that I submitted my work too three months prior finally showed up in my inbox. when I saw the message instantly my face paled. I didn’t know what to expect and I suddenly found myself wondering whether I should open it and face the rejection and spare myself the disappointment and humiliation, or just ignore it until it went away. well, I’m glad I didn’t listen to my crazy emotions because if I had I would never have seen my work published in a physical magazine EVER!
that magazine is DARK GOTHIC RESURRECTED, a place for all things twisted dark and ominous, the perfect place for my strange and weird fiction!
I cannot tell you how ecstatic I was to see my name in the author contract list. it didn’t feel real, and although I have seen my name published more times since, to this day it still doesn’t feel lucid.
it has taken me a long time to find a place for my fiction, and though almost five years into freelancing professionally with many publications to my name, I am still learning on my journey, always being inspired, constantly writing. being a writer has been the best thing that I could ever have done in my life and I have big plans to see my work and ideas stretch further across the borders!
I guess what I’m trying to say is never give up on your dreams. never think your work is too outrageous, gory, disgusting or weird. it’s original to you and that’s all that matters! there are markets out there who are sniffing out original, untamed pieces! you just need to look for them.
if you enjoyed this article then please feel free to comment and like.
what was your first publishing experience?
what kind of horror do you like to write?
what don’t you like?
as always take care, and I will update soon!