This is no fantasy. This is no fallacious delusion of a sick, twisted
mind. This is the honest-to-God truth. I love horror novels. Stephen King
and Edgar Allen Poe are my idols. Perhaps having these two, demented madmen
as my personal mentors sounds sick, but I tend to think as they do. Most of
my writings are short stories of horror (usually about the length of Poe\'s
"The Tell-Tale Heart" and "The Masque of the Red Death"). My friends often
ask me four questions: "Why do you not publish some of your work?" and "Where
do you get your ideas from?" and "What is it like writing this horror stuff?"
and "Why do you like writing horror stories?"
First, I do not publish my work (although some writers at the Virginian
Pilot newspaper feel I should) because it\'s mine. I know this sounds
selfish, but I\'m being honest. A part of my personality goes into my work
and I feel if people read enough of my work, they will discover certain
personal feelings I would prefer to keep private.

-- Honesty Check...I also think my work sucks. --

As to where I get my ideas from for my sick excursions, I sincerely do
not know. Like Stephen King (who got the idea to write IT when looking off
of a bridge) I seem to receive my mad phantasms out of thin air. For
example, when I first began writing the first draft of this essay, I started
out writing about writing horror stories and ended up writing a short story
about a vampire in London. It is safe to say I get ideas out of thin air.
When I do capture the intangible, I literally feel a rushing sensation in
my head! I feel like a kid on a roller coaster. I feel astonished, excited,
and hyper. Quite often my mother will stick her head into my room because
she wants to find out what I\'m giggling about. I usually tell her I\'m
thinking about a joke I heard on T.V. -- how can I tell my mother I\'m
laughing about a clever killing scene I\'ve just visualized, or the thought of
some damsel being chased by the bogeyman?
After giving my mother further reason to worry about my sanity, I sit
down and begin to type on my computer, usually until the first draft is
finished --editing and revising along the way. I take great care when
writing my pieces of dementia -- as a cook would take care to consistently
baste a turkey, less it becomes dry and unwanted. I usually have only two
drafts per piece of work: the one and only, thus I usually have to create a
draft for my composition classes, which require at least one draft before the
final is done. After my short story of madness is done, I will usually read
it about 20 times.
If you are anything like me, you like to be scared. I love being in a
arm, toasty bed with only the 15-watt, reading lamp on with a good horror
novel in hand. I love the thrill generated by the expectations of something
sinister happening on the next page. I love being on the edge of screaming.
The funny thing is, when I do get to the juicy parts of a Stephen King novel,
after I\'m shivering from the emotional overload, I laugh as if it was the
funniest thing on earth! Horror is my personal drug of choice.
Since I love being scared, it is only natural that I love to scare
others -- I guess misery really does like company. I love the thought of
being able to plant a little seed of fear into my audience\'s mind and feed it
little by little, until it burst -- sort of like the bean Jack planted to
grow that big beanstalk. I want to take the readers past the point of mere
fright to the point of hysteria. I want my readers to wake up in the middle
of the night with the shivers and in a cold sweat. In a nutshell, I want to
scare the living daylights out of people.
The world of horror is not