Few things creep me out like the skittering of bugs on my skin. Or just the idea of bugs on my skin. My husband recently went on a military exercise and told me in great (read: disgustingly vivid) detail about the mosquitoes, ticks, and spiders they encountered along the way.
I did my best supportive wife routine, but I was twitching and itchy all over by the time I finally yelled “uncle” and made him change the subject.
Of course as a paranormal romance and urban fantasy author, I’ve written my share of creepy, skin-crawling scenes. Most of them I actually enjoyed as my imagination came to life on the page, even the evisceration at the beginning of Invasion of Justice.
Hey, if you don’t like the writing process, there’s not much point in calling yourself an author, right?
I learned early on that creeping myself out (and being happy about it) is a job hazard. There was the night I wrote the short ghost story, Famous Last Words and couldn’t fall asleep because I thought my room was suddenly haunted.
(No worries, it was just the four-year-old breathing into his blanket while he tried to sneak into the bed to snuggle with me after he had a bad dream).
Paraphrasing that old writer’s adage that if you aren’t crying over a scene, your readers won’t cry either, I’m happiest with my writing when a scene sends a chill down my spine, has me looking over my shoulder for the looming threat, or leaves me a bit twitchy. Even better if I’m sighing over the romantic moments.
Yes, I know I write fiction, but if it’s not ‘real’ to me, I can hardly expect it to be real to you!
Whatever your favorite fiction genre, there’s a feel to the story that draws you in and keeps you turning pages. Murder mysteries can range from horror to cozy and all of them feature at least one dead body but readers have different expectations. Horror fans usually expect to ‘see’ the gore in great detail while fans of the cozies are often happier when the gross stuff is ‘glossed over’.
Paranormal romance and urban fantasy novels can involve anything from hot vampires to chilling ghosts to sweet mages – it’s all in what the author puts ‘on stage’ and what he or she leaves to the reader’s imagination. Personally, I’m thankful for the wide-open, unlimited variety.
Has your fave author ever made your skin crawl, or written a scene that had you looking over your shoulder?
Live the adventure!