This week I am writing about things that scare me and why scary things are so irresistible. So today’s guest blogger was the perfect choice to slot in this week’s theme of all things scary. If you have read any of this author’s work, you will be surprised to find out that she is actually terrified of the dark and all the creatures that it hides. This author’s tales give me the heebie jeebies but still I come back begging for more. So what scares Patti Larsen? Let’s find out.
Writing Horror When You’re Scared of the Dark
You’re laughing at the title, aren’t you? Fair enough. I didn’t set out to write thrillers, let alone horror. But my muse, the voices, whatever term you wish to give authorly inspiration, has led me down a dark path the last little while. Yes, I’m still writing my YA paranormal fun stuff with lots of adventure and sarcasm. And my middle grade work is all action adventure, just how I like it.
But there are story lines crawling forth from the black, creeping out of my closet, sliding free from under the bed… and I’m honestly having trouble sleeping.
We have a nightlight in the hall outside my bedroom door. I kid you not. My husband thinks it’s so I won’t trip on my way to the bathroom in the middle of the night. He has no idea I use it to keep an eye out for whatever my over-active imagination seems to be stirring free.
Don’t believe me? Think I’m just writing this to give you a bit of a chill? Um, no. I wish. And while I’d never classify myself as a coward, I hate the dark.
I finally let it out in my work, thinking writing about it would ease the fear somewhat. Like popping a blister or pulling a band aid free. Figured the first truly horrifying work that came to me was my psyche’s way of dealing with some here-to forgotten trauma. That penning fearful prose would ease the anxiety I get when I switch out the light and dive for the safety of the covers.
Wrong. It’s made it worse, in some ways. Now I’m writing about voodoo dolls and bones buried in cursed ground that rise to torment the living, dark creatures that hunt and kill for sport when they aren’t feeding on fresh livers and still-hot blood. A boy with horrid powers of control over others who devolves so deeply he forces an entire town to build a throne in his honor out of the bones of their dead.
I’m hoping this is a phase. That my compulsion to write this stuff will eventually dry and up go away in favor of butterflies and sparkly unicorns. Trouble is, every time I think that might be the case, the butterflies grow fangs and claws and attack the unicorns. They end up gutted, blood pooled beneath them, staining their polished white coats the deepest crimson, while their entrails curl in greasy ropes around their shining and delicate hooves. Can you hear it? The final beating of their precious hearts?
Ba-dum. Ba-dum. Ba. Dum.
That’s it. I’m sleeping with the lights on for the rest of my life.
About the Author: Patti Larsen is a middle grade, young adult and adult author with a passion for the paranormal who writes a great deal of horror for someone who is afraid of the dark. (SEE! It’s true! It’s right in my bio.) She lives on the East Coast of Canada with her very patient husband Scott and four enormous cats.
You can find her at
Books Blog: www.pattilarsenbooks.blogspot.com
and her work on Amazon.com.
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