This weekend started off with Valentine’s Day. Although the day is past and the chocolate is on sale, I still find myself reflecting on love and romance. For some, that might seem at odds with a blog focused on horror topics, but I submit they can go hand in hand. Horror is an intense feeling of fear and dread. In real life, I’ve experienced this less with myself than with those I love. A case in point being the day when my wife told me about her cancer diagnosis. After that were the days and weeks of doctor’s appointments, surgery and chemotherapy. I felt intense fear through that period, but I’m relieved to report that this story had a happy ending. She battled the cancer monster and won. I look forward to the day when that will be true of everyone who has to fight the cancer monster.
Arguably the worst kind of personal horror is to be trapped in a terrible reality with no escape. Fictional examples include the Vampire Louis in Anne Rice’s Interview With the Vampire and David Drayton in Stephen King’s The Mist. I picked these two because they are characters who did their best to find some sanity through companionship. Louis has Lestat and Claudia. Dreyton finds Amanda Dumfries. Romance as an anchor to stay sane in horrible circumstances is a powerful metaphor. As such, I’m not surprised that it’s been explored so thoroughly in vampire stories. I’ve used it in my novels Vampires of the Scarlet Order and Dragon’s Fall: Rise of the Scarlet Order.
The photo at the top of this post is one I took with my wife at the Arizona Renaissance Festival a couple of years after we were married. It was a chance to play two people who joined together to use arcane powers against the world. I like the photo because it suggests any number of stories. Are we vampires? Are we dark wizards? Whose skull is that we’re holding and why? It also reminds me that as writers we should draw from all our life experiences no matter what genre we’re writing. After all, the whole point of the exercise is to explore facets of the human experience.
In reality, the only arcane powers I hope to enrapture you with are my words. If you’d like to join me for a frightening story and do something to help people battle the monster of cancer, you can buy a copy of Vampires of the Scarlet Order from the Writer’s Unite to Fight Cancer Bookstore at Amazon.com: http://astore.amazon.com/writersunitetofightcancer-20/detail/097545336X