Returning through the dark…. 

Returning through the dark…. 

It’s been a long time since I came on here. Mostly, that has been due to time constraints as finishing the first draft of Tapeworm Slim 2 has been a mammoth task which has almost drained me of life.

Secondly, as I do not yet have the luxury of full time writing, I have to plan my writing around work, childcare and other family events. That pesky family… Always getting in the way (insert smiley emoji of your choice here). 

But I am nearly finished editing first draft of TS2 and so my attentions turn back to my website. In the past I have talked about horror films and influences but I feel I have no further way forward on this now. So what to type about? 

I’m going to pick many topics of the singularity which has pushed me into writing horror books and mostly why I chose the path I chose for TS2. 

Politics. Why on earth I chose to change the direction of a haunted house/lab testing/creepy horror into a political thriller which is expansive and introduces a WHOLE NEW cast of people. 

I have never written anything which I feel is generic. I despise randomly retreding territory which has been trodden by others. For example, in Bezmel’s Vespiary I wanted to do Zombies but zombies are at saturation point. Even Danny’s Boyle reinvented the zombie/infected type on his brilliant 28 days later. 

So when I made zombies I made them dissociative creatures born into aimless wandering and apathy by torture. 

Same with Tapeworm Slim. I wanted a claustrophobic horror with a terrifying antagonist but I wanted it to be about something very relevant to modern life that was, amidst all the fat fetched goes and psychosis, quite relatable. Also I wanted a villain who was purely suffering romero acute mental illness and hair her motives as much as she dehumanised people. Sahara Scared isn’t evil… She’s just a very unwell woman. 

In TS2 it’s all about the medication going mass market and the idea of purely doing a mass destruction, apocalyptic story bored me. So I chose one band of survivors and the Prime Minister himself,  who is so corrupt that he actively seeks out ways to further his political career than help the millions dying. 

I shall explore my political motivations later in my next post but, rest assured, that for now all you need to know is that I feel politics doesnt represent me as a person or human. Also, never before has the political landscape been so diametrically split, obfuscated by spin and changed by the vision of media and self perception. 

Our once promising species now devolving into selfishness… 

So I’m back, a little conflicted and enjoying my writing again. Forgive the pretentious pictures of me throughout this post, it’s there to represent my inner dissolution over the past year and how much negativity entered my writing. It amazes me how pessimistic I am at times! 

Already though, book 4 is at the planning stage and will be a psychological thriller/Freudian horror on a subject very personal to me. It’s going to take time to get right but my next main protagonist will be a different challenge to write for! Alongside that I want to get back to short stories again to break up the year long slog of writing novels. And then there is the question of Tapeworm Slim 3.

It will be the final book and I mean FINAL! 

But I’ve been with Scarred and her Tapeworms for four years now and I need a break. For TS3 to be a thrilling conclusion I need to see other people, write other stories and let Sahara go for a bit until I am ready to spend time with her and the cast again. 

So there you have it! Musings laid out and I already feel better for being back on here! 

Catch you soon and, if you want, links to my books are in the top menu widget if you so fancy! 

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Nightmares… The oil of a writers creation!

Nightmares… The oil of a writers creation!

146939349735499Like any writer, I have bouts of creativity, streams of consciousness and writers block. This is the same for any artist. However, as a horror writer, I have one pool of resource which is like striking oil…

Nightmares!

Many things have inspired my work. The last book, Tapeworm Slim was because of repeated time in hospital and also facing mortality and the claustrophobia of operating theatres. The sequel, Tapeworm Slim 2, is more political and comes from a position of feeling enfeebled in a world which is dominated by idiots, politicians and the wealthy.

However, I suffer from a condition which tends to influence my writing on a daily basis. Chronic nightmares.

Recently I have been chased, isolated, abandoned, operated on, threatened, mocked, laughed, felt a presence growing in my head and also been aware that someone is in the room when I am lucid dreaming. I have figures of distortion, bodies of contortion and even raucous malformation of shapes and senses. I have woken up five times alone this month in a cold sweat thanking the lord I am not dead as I was about to be in my sleep.

Some of this has come from the life changing surgery I had on my heart just four weeks ago. Lots of it is anxiety about the future, my sense of depersonalisation and the defects my self esteem and social anxiety has on me. Yet some of it is just fantastic junk! Detritus left over from horror films, computer games and even a late night brain testing viewing of active shutter 3D spectacle of San Andreas when my eyes were hurting from the screen and my head was calmed via too much codeine and a splash of Guinness.

The great thing about all this is that it bleeds into my work. Now I wish I could write a book a week because some dreams are so vivid they tell a story right there and then! I want to get up and just type the horror film my mind has been moulding round my skull!….. But this is impractical. Its just not possible and each novel takes me about 18 months to complete! Therefore, to avoid fifteen hundred manuscripts only three pages deep, the dreams either get stored in the “next project” file or they get added into the current story which is great because, although each book is mapped out in my head there are times when it is exciting to find that missing piece, change a direction to keep it fresh orr add something that is very scary for both myself and the reader.

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Sometimes, its just the effect which influences the work. That feeling of being so scared and vulnerable that it needs to be bled out onto a page.

Tapeworm Slim 2 is not a conventional horror story. Its political, spread across the country and… I cant say anymore without giving away my ideas! However, part 3 is set to become something else  but I need a break from the world of grotesque slimming devices and the next story needs to be challenging and something different. Part of me wants to do a claustrophobic horror film…. Small place, diminishing light and a very reduced scale where there is just something wrong, something dangerous and something which could cause harm.

Then part of me wants to write about the sea, space, natural disasters….

I’ve no idea where the future is taking me but I am excited.

So why are nightmares such a rush?

When I was a child (aged 14 up) I watched scary and gory films to give myself nightmares because it was controlled fear at a time where my life was so miserable it was nice to watch perfect teenagers get slaughtered by Jason, be terrified by Freddy and simply gasp at the gore of Hellraiser! There were no Human Centipedes, Saw or Hostel in those days so the banned films I watched are very tame now in comparison. Yet I loved to be scared. I loved the bad dreams. I loved feeling in danger whilst going to the loo at midnight whilst halfway through Halloween. There is no feeling like pure terror yet knowing that you are being silly and its just a film. Over time I pushed myself more and more and the effect wore thin.

Since my heart crash in 2012 and my double figure ambulance rides and double figure admissions in the past four years, life has become scary for real so film is an escape but my perceptions, tolerances and yearning has also changed. I still love a so bad its good movie, but I want more than just gore and some things which never bothered me now really upset me which is weird.

Yet as a writer, I make sense of the world through etching my perception onto paper. So nightmares are my brain just having a gravity and solar flare surge of remembrance, junk and sorting…

…But the feelings are real and this rich pool of cognition and sensation simply builds in its own reservoir!

Plus there is still the anger of all the injustice in the world!

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So where does this leave me? Well, its bed time and once again time for a mind of anxiety, fear and writers frustration to just blend a mad, mad world inside its neurological wonder! If I wrote comedy, drama, thriller or romance my dreams would be of no help. Yet, as a horror writer, they are my most valuable resource! My oil when I am dry and something my mind drills for when I really don’t want it too.

If you want a nightmare yourself, get a copy of my book Tapeworm Slim on Amazon or from the menu link at the top. It is indeed the stuff of nightmares. Be a nice prep for part 2 which is due in 2017.

Tapeworm Slim is on sale now!

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Oh It’s Good To Be Back

Oh It’s Good To Be Back

So its been a few weeks since my last post and there is a good reason for that.

Life changing and life saving heart surgery.

Quite simply the biggest and most traumatic surgery I have ever been through! But, after nearly a week in intensive care and now two weeks at home I finally have the faculties to get back to writing again! So where does this leave me and Tapeworm Slim 2?

When I was in hospital 2 years ago it was the inspiration for my magnum opus book! It was simply the whole reason it got written, as cited in previous blogs, was because of experiences in theatre and the whole feeling of being alone and scared to death.

But having had surgery and spent a recovery time learning to walk again and having PTSD from some of the procedures the whole thing has somewhat left me fractured inside.

So gone is all the rage and fear from the first book and I am now just worried, appreciative of life and a general sense I am going to be sick all the time! Although that’s just the medication!!!

I am left with a new life, one where I have big pieces of metal in my heart, I’m a higher risk of stroke but I will have more energy and a greater ability to endure and enjoy life. Its a whole new perspective. I have only returned to writing a few days ago but, as I reach the one quarter mark of Tapeworm Slim 2, the content may start to reflect a different me.

Its worrying in a way, this fractured and yet rebuilt version of myself, doesn’t quite know how to feel about things. Plus I am still recovering from a 9 hour heart operation so I don’t feel great. So what does this mean for all the characters in Tapeworm Slim 2?

It doesn’t change the arc of the story but the content and direction of some of the characters may!

I cant write for too long due to the fact that my ribcage hasn’t fused so I am still in pain but my intention is to return to blogging more often now. As for the writing, I’m still loving it but, like my characters, I need some time to make sense of things. I never thought this would affect me like it has. The plan is still late 2017 release but where parts of it go now I don’t know!

Tapeworm Slim 2 isn’t horror in the strictest sense, its more vast, political and has a great charged love story at the centre, so there is less gore and torture than the first one. Yet I feel different and, as all my life experiences contribute to my writing, its going to be interesting to see where this one goes now!

I’m lucky to be alive, still a dad, looking at new challenges but I now have a whole new piece of my heart to get used to.

So forgive all the altered images of myself as its all expressive, why not click on the menu above and buy a copy of my book Tapeworm Slim and read an exert of the last surgical nightmare of my life before this one!

Tapeworm Slim is on sale now!

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Nightmares in hospital & Jeremy Hunt’s NHS Human Centipede!

Nightmares in hospital & Jeremy Hunt’s NHS Human Centipede!

Blog May

Well I’ve had a bad week. Admitted as an emergency to Hospital for important Cardiac surgery…. And that was only part 1! The second part of the operation is even bigger. But I am not here to bludgeon you with my history and problems, dear readers, this is a site about horror and the influences behind my Tapeworm Slim 1 & 2 stories.

The great thing about being a horror fan in hospital is it offers you a fantastic sense of humour whilst scaring the sh*t out of you at the same time. I have truly had my worst panic attacks in hospital and these are something that, even at the tender age of 40, I am still enduring. This time, when I went for surgery it was a flashback to the time where I was still awake and they were prepping the tools and covering me with antiseptic which inspired my book. Yet again this happened and, although everyone in the hospital was amazing, I could hardly breathe as I was still awake, naked and had about five people around me tampering with metal knives and odd tubes!

I have a pathological fear of hospitals yet, paradoxically, I love them! I think that duality of weirdness was what got me working in one like I do at the moment!!!!!!!!!!!

I always think of hospitals from horror films when I am admitted. Heiter performing surgery in The Human Centipede, Freddy “Well it ain’t Doctor Seuss” in Elm Street 4, the infamously deleted Cenobite scene in Hellraiser 2, the Silent Hill nurses and countless more which I have seen over the years.

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In this country there is a lot of worry about the health service. There are concerns that we are facing privatisation from an omnivorous Tory government and that the service can no longer cope.

Utter crap. Its an amazing service.

Now I wont preach here, because this is not about last week, but the amount of hard work and care I received was amazing. Our NHS simply needs funding not cutting. I could now write a 50000000000000 word dissertation on the political abuse of our hospitals but I am not going to. Not today anyway.

This blog comes in two stages. First part serious and about the book. Second part a little more light hearted!

So where was I? Oh yes the serious part, hospital panic attacks! Marvellous things because there is so much inspiration in them! Much of Tapeworm Slim is set inside a private clinic/research facility and this comes from three aspects of hospital issues.

Firstly is the isolation and trust you place in surgeons when they operate. You give them 100% faith and The Facility where Scarseed unwittingly tortures her 8 subjects comes from this trust as they are all her own NHS patients when she recruits them from the ward.

The second aspect is privatisation. The Facility is owned by a billionaire owner of an insidious company and what goes on behind those walls are all at his design. My fears about hospitals going into those hands percolates throughout the book.

Thirdly is the procedures themselves. The things we go through to be healthy. Anyone who has had surgery knows about the scars, pain and recovery which can affect your whole life and this too permeates the entire depth of the book once the Tapeworms go beyond the control of the endocrinology which is supposed to control them.

Its funny as well how vulnerable you become in hospital. And how embarrassing that can be. Grown men, career women and also me can be reduced to feeling so humiliated when we have to get someone to assist us with the toilet or cry when we get a needle in our arm. Its not any easy life being stuck in bed all day!…. Unless that bed is your own, facing a large TV, takeaway on one side and wine on the other and any other erotic/private add ons you need! My god, no wonder my heart is so bad!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Last week was a wonderful inspiration yet again to keep writing Tapeworm Slim 2, which is now already 10% complete! It was a fantastically scary experience which I can only metabolise through the cathartic process of writing. But, like other people getting drunk at 3:00am and listening to moody music and getting an intoxicated stream of creative consciousness, I seem to get my best inspirations from hospital admissions!

Sometimes, joking and writing about things, or even exaggerating things through literary gore is the only way of managing emotions properly. Writing isn’t just a tool for me, its a way of life, coping and something I enjoy so much so that’s why I channel much time into it!

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But the political pressures, paranoia over healthcare and fear of being sick/unable to afford treatment are very real problems and something which the “arrogant, dangerous and incompetent” Sahara Scarseed saw and tried to fix with her revolutionary new pill which was going to save the NHS billions…

…Before it all went horribly wrong before her eyes!

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So what would save the NHS? Who is as insane as Scarseed and what could they offer our hospitals?

What if Doctor Heiter was the cheapest consultant Jeremy Hunt could find to run the NHS???!!!!!!!!!!

The UK’s first NHS centipede!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well, firstly, Mr Hunt could finally afford his seven day NHS as all non urgent patients would be in hospital AND waiting in line! Simply join the back of the queue and when a bed becomes available we will unhook your mouth pop you off the line, and into that bed! Hospital food bills would come down by thousands if you only had to feed those in bed and the head of the centipede! Finally patients would be self sufficient! And if there was a winter diarrhoea bug break out, its all contained! No issues there, just pop a tray at the back!

Also, constipation is bad for the heart…. And repeatedly re-digested stools aren’t going to stick are they?

Private patients would avoid the queue and pay for a bed straight away! The rest of us simply stuck in our line, on our hands and knees, and getting sh*t directly from the person in front of us as opposed to it being fed to us via the newspapers and TV from our politicians! A political sh*t bypass!

Also, not sure how many would want to come to the hospital so patients wasting time would be down!

And hire Silent Hill nurses! They only move when there is noise! They can stand still for up to twelve hours! Just hours of standing there, not wanting a break or unsociable hours pay! Okay, all they seem to do is stick sharp objects in people and have a dislike of Sean Bean but they can administer the anti-biotics if anyone needed it and then go back to sleep standing up! You’d only need a few to manage the waiting line of conjoined people!

All this money saved Jeremy!….. Hang on…. He might be getting ideas…. He is already under pressure from the junior doctors (I fully support them!) and this may be a headline out of his NHS woes…. I could end by being the reason he decides to privatise it and give the proles the pede treatment!!!!!! I will stop going on about it now!

I have to say, I’d still rather have heart surgery than have my teeth out! Dear god that terrifies me so much I cant even write about it. I’ve had a few out in my time and it is a genuinely grotesque experience! And I was going to watch Saw 1-7 again recently but…….Nothing like a trip to theatre to ruin the love for a torture porn movie!

So I am at home  and writing again which is the one good thing to come out of this week. My third book is under way and going well. Its completely different to the first yet shares the same DNA and, I promise, wont be as gross as the first.

The first book you can buy now from the link at the top.

Blog May 7

Tapeworm Slim is on sale now!

Real things that are scarier than a horror film!

Real things that are scarier than a horror film!

Volume 1 – ADVENTURES IN FAECES!

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There are some things in life which are more scary than anything Jigsaw, Freddy, Jason or a pea soup spitting little girl can offer…. Things which cause us real terror and can leave us thinking “NO! PLEASE NO! THIS IS MY WORST NIGHTMARE!”

So this week, its all about the toilet! The one place we are all tied to and the many inconveniences it brings which, sometimes, cause immense distress more terrifying than anything a great horror writer has to offer!

Number 1 – No lock on the toilet door!

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I remember my first sixth form girlfriend and staying the night. The evening was very pleasant but the next day, when I would rather have been in bed, I needed the toilet. On my way through to the water closet facilities I noticed TWO things which made my heart stop.

No lock!

Toilet about ten feet from the door!

This activates the MISSION:IMPOSSIBLE thought train and within minutes I had put the washing basket against the door, piled old bed sheets around that and then reinforced it with a tiny bin. My god I was terrified! A lady who actually liked me and here I was desperate to sit on the loo but torn between neuroticism and desperation! Nothing ends a date like seeing someone on the loo and if you need more than a pee…. Then its all hands on deck!

Of course this affects ones physiology! When you see no lock, you become more desperate as time runs out and the bowel turns into the countdown clock and you know that by the time it hits the “de-dum de-dum de-de-de-dum!” you are going to be washing the poo from your pyjamas in her bathtub but, when you actually sit down, the rectum becomes shy and stubborn and refuses to move at pace!

“Nope, we may get interrupted and I cannot perform under pressure soooooooo…. Its gonna be one piece at a time until she is thinking ‘what the hell is he doing and why is he moving all my furniture behind the door?’ but you stay alert eyes, and I will EVACUATE! EVACUATE!”

Honestly, its like my arse is a Dalek!

Of course once you finish and go back its small talk time as you both try and keep the romance whilst a smell worse than the devils armpit seeps under the door and you realise you have been gone for thirty minutes!

Number 2 – Thin walls!

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When I moved into a flat in 2006 the loo was right next to the bedroom and I think the builders had cut corners on plasterboard and painted cling film white such was the thinness of the partition between toilet and bedroom.

So, again when I was a single man entertaining a lady, the morning and bed time was a terrible dilemma of orchestral sounds and pantomime in order to stay sexy and avoid embarrassment.

Of course this never happens and you end up in ruination but, once again your body loves to undermine you! Imagine, setting the scene and having too much wine and food before taking someone to bed so you need to Dalek your bowel again and EVACUATE! E-V-A-C-U-A-T-E right before the good bit of the evening!

Firstly, your bottom refuses to stay quiet and decides to caterwaul a cacophony of wind and broken down gasses which echo round the bowl and make even the couple in the bus stop over the road stop and giggle! Then, once again, rectum goes shy and you are sat in there for an AGE whilst she waits patiently… Then checks her phone… Then rifles through your draws… Then has some existential yoga… Then decides she should never have left her ex and so will get dressed and catch the bus to see him.

By the time she has seen him and caught the bus back to break up, I am just surfacing and ready for action.

The morning is worse! You almost have to drug her into a deep sleep so you can relax and then hop to the toilet and loudly COUGH and SING LOUDLY everytime you have a movement.

Laying one sheet of paper on the water does nothing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Number 3 – No toilet roll!

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In some friends and relatives houses its like WHERE IS IT?! And you find yourself feverishly checking every single cupboard and corner but it isn’t there!!!! The bastards have it in the airing cupboard but you’ve already been and cant shuffle across the top of the stairs like an egg bound penguin because they will see you!!!!!!!!!!!!

So instead you search your pockets for everything and end up using last weeks tissue over and over, then a box of tic tacs and, finally, resorting to whatever magazines they have on the floor!

Please, keep your loo roll in the loo! It is all I ask! My nerves are not built for Indiana Jones escapades to find the holy grail of the loo roll!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Number 4 – Irritable Bowel!

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Cheers genetic biology! Not only am I too thin, awkward and unattractive but when I do FINALLY get a date with a female woman of the opposite sex who has boobs and everything, you ensure that nerves and lunch will ruin my evening.

One date in 2006 ended badly. I went to Dudley for a drink with a lady and got nervous so had three pints of Guinness before she even got there. Then got hungry and so ate pork scratching’s and by the time we were thirty minutes in I had to go to the loo.

Then again. And again. And again. And again.

Must have had pulses by mistake at lunch and now, the one thing vaguely interested in me which actually has a pulse (and one that doesn’t set off my sphincter) I am spending more time in the loo than with her. Things got worse once we went for Pizza hut where I had to go another 5 times and ran out of excuses of “making a call, just having a pee, I need some tissues to blow my nose, there is someone I know just going into the loo I shall go and say hello!”……… Suffice to say, that was the end of that chance.

IBS is caused by stress and diet so, whenever I have anything like a job interview or a conversation with another human being….. We may as well conduct it in the loo…. But with ten feet thick steel walls so you cant hear anything!!!!!!!!!!!!

Or lets not bother at all.

Number 5 – Odour!

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Briefly mentioned before but something that will always ruin your hard work.

How many times have I been trying to impress people when you either need to break wind or use the loo and for some reason, your insides smell like you died weeks ago and have been embalmed with chilli sauce.

My first job in the health service and a group of very important men were about, I thought “I will just break wind in the office whilst I am alone!” and then WOE AND BEHOLD…. The odour is so bad even the cockroaches are putting a complaint in to the senior managers. Of course, everyone piles through the door “Oh yes, this is Chris and he is one of our staff nurses!” and you can see all the faces shrivel up as they come to greet me! Its like five men have just bitten a lemon as they gingerly shake my hand and I have NO ONE to blame this on.

Same thing happened once with a trainee nurse and after completing another Ethan Hunt level of impossible mission in breaking wind silently…. I spent twenty minutes talking loudly and SINGING for some reason just because I knew she was aware of what I had done because the smell was so bad it had clogged the air conditioning.

If ever you use the loo at someones house and you want it to have ten minutes clear you can guarantee that soon as you step outside the door…. There is mum of the girl you want to impress heading in to fold towels or have a womanly wee amidst the leftovers from your green fog.

Number 6 – It won’t flush away!

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“Is Christopher unwell or something?!”

Flush number 14 and its still there! Bobbing up and down like a playful dolphin who wants a fish! You’ve buried it under toilet paper, you’ve kept your finger on the handle until ALL the water pressure is gone and you have prayed to god to remove your poo but its still bobbing there… Dancing like a member of Bewitched in that Ce La Vie video!

At home you can laugh it off! With friends you take the ribbing but at work or with someone you like….. This is terrible and short of picking it up and throwing it out the window its already reducing your chances with every second it keeps U-Bend teasing…. Only to come back up and smile at you!

What the hell…… Did I eat Helium??!!!!!!

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Nathan Drake from the game Uncharted above this line….. Looking for a toilet after crashing that plane no doubt! I couldn’t be an adventurer, I would need a nearby toilet in between crashing planes and fighting bad guys! But its an important thing to a neurotic like me. Where is the nearest loo when I am out.

Please god don’t let me need the loo when I am with someone I am trying to impress.

Like I said, give me a chainsaw wielding monster any day but PLEASE don’t leave me at the mercy of my colon!!!!! Its caused me so much grief!

Anyway, little bit of a different blog this week! Sorry! But writing is influenced by many things and, as TAPEWORM SLIM was conceived whilst I sat on the loo (something I have written about in the preface of the book) sometimes real life is more inspirational than the films and art we love!! My god I am weird… Wonderful, but weird non the less! I think it stems from so many years in hospital…. The scars of bedpans and 1970’s nurses always bothered about my toilet use! Funny though, take away all of our narcissism, wealth, jokes, pretence and clothing…. We are all biological pink things that just need to poo!

Anyway, has this blog has inspired you to read the book?! Hey, this site is all about the writing process behind my magnum opus of a horror story so there are going to be some odd weeks here and there!

Anyway, the menu link at the top of the page takes you to Amazon UK and USA respectively so, by all means, check out the book if, like many people in my life, I haven’t creeped you out with my very odd toilet fixation.

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Tapeworm Slim is on sale now!

 

“You’ll end up a serial killer if you keep watching those horrible films…”

“You’ll end up a serial killer if you keep watching those horrible films…”

We are composite creatures. We are made up from our surroundings, choices and an amalgamation of determinism and also perspective influenced tastes. In todays blog, I look back at how my youth shaped my love of horror and how it has influenced my writing today.

I wasn’t a very popular child… Come to think of it I’m not really a hugely popular adult to tell you the truth!

Wow, that’s depressing….

ANYWAY, I had few friends growing up and found life to be quite a solitary exercise. Not that I really minded as I was quite apathetic in my late teens. No, I was happy to spend my Friday and Saturday nights as a teenager watching horror films. Whether they were recorded on the VHS car engine sized video recorder or rented from Blockbuster video thanks to someone who never checked my age (or the fact I was using my mothers card!) I was able to consume a vast amount of films over the course of a few years.

Every Friday I would head down to the store and rent two films. One for Friday night and one for Saturday. My house was more than often empty what with my mother and sister out so I found myself immersed in a world where I was scared and secure all at the same time. Actually, I say scared but most the films were terrible or exercises in watching young girls being chased in their underwear so it pleased me on multiple levels regardless of fear!

Some films did shake me up and test my tolerances. I was 15 when I saw Hellraiser and that was a MASSIVE test of my gore tolerance and nerves! Yet other films, such as Sorority House Massacre and The Burning, were purely exercises for my frustrated brain to indulge in for ninety minutes.

I loved being scared, I loved gore and I loved knowing the genre inside out!

Over time, I ended up dropping out of school (I had my reasons but I am no way an advocate of walking away from education) and I spent more and more late nights watching horror. It was very cathartic for me as I watched, so pathetic and alone, whilst pretty and arrogant young teens got hacked to pieces. Call it a way of coping with how I felt about the world!

My mother was less than impressed by this point and was trying to stop me seeing these films. She was horrified I had little interest in any other film unless it was gory!

“You’ll end up a serial killer if you keep watching those horrible films! They rot your brain for gods sake! Its not healthy!”

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Technically, I suppose she had a point! I mean, I love hamburgers but eating them every single day is not a good idea for a diet!

I did watch other films, blockbusters, sci-fi and thrillers but the weekend was all about…

STOP! Horror Time!

I looked forward to it! The twenty minute decisions about choosing what film to watch in the store!…Then getting home and hiding them upstairs (only to always have them found with another mother lecture about how I was going to grow up weeeiiiirrrrrd) and then, FINALLY, turning off all the lights, getting loads of nibbles and a drink of cider before commencing my weekly gore-a-thon. In those days, there were no VOD or streaming so walking to the store was the only thing I could do if I wanted to see a film.

I was an avid reader of Fangoria at the time, a hard-core horror magazine who catered for all things macabre, and I found myself connecting with the other kids who wrote in about their passions an showed their collections/tattoos of iconic horror characters. Even today, from Human Centipede body art to SERIOUS fan boys who attend conventions in full Vorhees outfits, I feel a kinship with the most passionate set of film fans ever. So dedicated and less picky than comic book fans, horror guys and gals are great fun and very down to earth! We are just a special breed that’s all.

Okay, gory films have had a bad reputation in the past and been accused of contributing to all sorts of horrible real life crimes, but for the majority of us its a special relationship and devotion to something people just can’t understand.

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So as you can guess, despite watching thousands of horror films, I am not a serial killer! My mother was wrong (thankfully). In terms of writing though, my books of Bezmel and Tapeworm Slim and its 2017 sequel, I do kill a lot of people! I am a literary serial killer! I exterminate, decapitate and decimate many of my characters and so I’m not quite sure what that says about what is inside my head! I’ve tried writing nice and healthy stuff but, unfortunately, there is a haemorrhage of darkness which always leaks onto the page.

I’ve always said writing was my coping mechanism. Throughout all my problems it has been my most consistent way of expressing and metabolising all my demons. I wanted to be an artist when I was young. I tried everything to draw as I hated typing and writing but, as even my stick men look badly drawn, I was drawn to the computer screen instead of the canvas.

In fact, without horror films and writing I may well have become a serial killer, but my two favourite obsessions have kept me sane! I must say my tastes have matured and mellowed over the years and I am more choosy in what I watch but, and it still cannot be beaten, I love finding a terrible film and enjoying a night of low budget nonsense!

I still love to be scared! It is one of the most amazing feelings when you are frightened, are nervous going to bed and have terrifying dreams all because of a film you watched. But horror is also pop culture and for every Nightmare 1 and Saw 1, there is Nightmare 6 and Saw 5 which is watched purely for enjoyment with no real threat to sanity or sleep!

Its another list next week as I countdown pop culture villains in horror. As for this week though, I just wanted to share another insight into the creative process, who I am and what inspires me. After all, this website is all about the story behind the story of Doctor Sahara Scarseed and her revolutionary new medication.

A biological horror book you can buy on Amazon today if you like!

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Tapeworm Slim is on sale now and can be purchased from the menu link at the top!