“What’s a Nice Girl Like You Doing. . . ?”
“What’s a nice girl like you doing writing horror short stories?” I’m asked, many times. The answer is as difficult to formulate as it is easy.
Well, let’s see. . . . The binary opposite of good is evil, and the binary opposite of light is dark. If we are to agree that one can’t exist unless the other does, it might come closer to explaining my interest in horror.
I caution to add that just because my characters choose the dark and often frightening paths, it does not imply that their writer must do the same. Maybe another way of putting this is I allow my characters total free will. Ah, there we go again with the so-called good–the ability to choose right from wrong, virtue from sin.
The latter is true in my recently published short story “The Pack” published in the anthology Ugly Babies 2, where Hannah chooses to go into the woods after six p.m., looking for her run-away dog. This is a choice she makes against the better judgment of her husband and the security guard at Timber Lodge. Is it any wonder then that she must pay the consequence?
Other times, it’s only a matter of being in the wrong place at the wrong time as when the gargoyle in my short story “In the Shadow of the Square” (the Were Traveler) suddenly and unexpected falls from his pinnacle atop the cathedral and lands in St. Mark’s Square in Venice.
Life is life. We hear the expression, “Bad things happen to good people,” meaning that often things are out of our control. Life isn’t always fair for us or for characters.
The world is far from a perfect place, and until it is, horror will continue to take place both realistically and in fiction.