Two Questions With…The Final Nail in the Coffin

Last Monday marked the Final day in the “Two Questions With…The Halloween Edition” Blog tour.

If you missed it, in October, many creative minds turned toward the spooky, fanged, clawed, and winged. To celebrate, a small coven of writers emerged from the darkness to share their harrowing delights with you.

Each week, we toured each other’s blogs and answered questions about our favorite spooky shenanigans. You can check out the Events page for the full schedule.

Who are these Children of the Night, you ask?

I will tell you, but…come closer where we may talk…

In the dark.

We are:

Myself

Anne Raven

Pat Esden

K Bird Lincoln

R. J. Theodore

Janet Walden-West

To put the Final Nail in the Coffin of the blog tour, I’ve collected all of my questions and answers into a single blog post. As an added bonus, we had Two Questions left over (primarily because me and Math don’t really get along) that I’ll include here.

So ignore that noise outside, that scratching at the window, and settle in for the Final Nail in the Coffin of the Halloween Edition of Two Questions with…”

The Questions and Answers:

How do you handle frightening elements in your writing?

What I’ll do is to take something familiar, and give it a bit of an unusual spin, change it, move it from where it’s supposed to be.

Here’s an example: Picture a bicycle. It can be any color or design that you want. Got it pictured? Remember what it was like riding a bike?

Good.

Now picture that bike, lying on its side, or propped up somewhere. Maybe it’s in a forest. Or a cemetery. Or outside an abandoned house at night?

Maybe it’s at a playground…moving all on its own…

How do you define Horror?

That is a tough one. Certainly there can be horrific elements in any story, but I don’t think that makes it a “Horror” story.

I think that for a story to fall into the Horror category there has to be a very real chance that any character in the story could die. This includes the Protagonist.

There is no such thing as a safe place in a horror story. Even staying put will bring the danger to you eventually. Often, by then, it’s far too late.

Is there any difference between Horror and Thriller? If so, what is it?

I think that there is a difference between a Horror Story and a Thriller. For me, I think this ties in to how Horror is defined. If nobody is safe, that’s Horror. If you know the protagonist makes it out alive, regardless of what they go through, even if you can’t see how they could possibly make it, yet you know that they are going to indeed make it out, that’s a Thriller.
Alien was horror.
Aliens was a thriller.

Favorite October Food?

Oh, there are so many. I could go on about Apple cider (With or without a splash of brandy), Summer sausage (not strictly October, but still…), squash, the smells of cinnamon and nutmeg. Pumpkin Beer (Hey, there are some really good brewers of the stuff out there. I will fight you over that), but the one thing that tops them all?

Chili. Again, not strictly an October food, but around here, when the weather gets cool. Nothing beats comfortable clothes, thick socks and a bowl of chili (and a beer) at the end of the day.

What is your favorite part of the Season?

A close second, is the warm days and cool nights (Around here anyway), but my absolute favorite part of the season is that the spirit of “What if…” is so much closer at this time of year, than at any other. Autumn, Halloween especially, is the land of the storyteller, and I love it here.

Which Horror Trope would you love to see die, and never return from the grave?

Torture porn. I’ve never seen a Saw movie. I’ve just got no interest in that kind of stuff. Now you can get all philosophical about it until the sun rises, say that it asks the ultimate question: What would you do? But I’m not buying it. It’s not there to scare you, or even tell a story. Not for me thanks.

Which Horror Tropes do you love to twist/would love to see twisted?

The Vengeful Spirit Trope. If I’m going to twist it, you can be damned sure that I’m going to try and make you sympathize for the Spirit. Give it a good reason for doing what it does. Maybe even something you might identify with…Ok, maybe its methods are a bit extreme, but its kinda got a point.

What is your go-to scary/Halloween movie?

Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors. Easily one of the best movies in the Franchise, this movie was dark. Darker than usual. Out of all of the Elm Street movies, this one was crafted in such a way to make each death matter. It wasn’t random, Freddy was picking these kids off one at a time and they KNEW IT. They struggled together and fought together. By far my favorite.

Funny (Now) scary anecdote to share?

I woke up one night – I can’t remember exactly what for – and, unbeknownst to me, one of my dogs followed (Maybe I left the bedroom door open).

I don’t know where he went, but we separated. As I’m making my way back to the bedroom, half asleep, in the dark, I hear a low growl in front of me.

The breeze must not have been going in the right direction, or something, but he didn’t recognize me until I said his name. And he meant business.

Let me tell you something:

Nothing, and I mean nothing, speaks to the part of your brain that used to huddle around the fire and pray for the dawn like the sound of an apex predator in the dark.

What was the first book (who was the first Author) to frighten you in a story?

Ghost Story, by Peter Straub.

Hands down.

Despite my capacity to suspend disbelief (Which borders on being a superpower), I am difficult to frighten in fiction. You can get other reactions out of me, but fear? That’s a tough nut to crack.

Pete was the first, and let me tell you, I have never been so concerned for the well being of a character standing alone on a snow-covered path in the woods. I didn’t want to keep reading, but I couldn’t put the book down and leave them out there in the woods with who-knows-what running around.

Bonus Questions and Answers!!

Monsters: Do you prefer: External – something that we have to overcome, something that isn’t “Us.” (Giant Sharks, alien invasion, Rabid Trees, etc) or Internal – Something that shows us that “We” could be the monsters (Carrie, Psycho, Vampires, etc)?

There are aspects of both that I love, but I think the external monster turns more knobs up to 11. Alien, Jaws, Starship Troopers (Yeah, I know…but I went for the bugs anyway), Pacific Rim. Wow.

Though let me tell you, a well done Vampire or (even better) Werewolf story will do it for me too.

What Horror trope do you love to exploit?
The Abandoned place. Be it a house in the forest, or a mining colony in the deepest darkest part of space. If there are supposed to be people there…and there aren’t…I love that.

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And there you have it: At last the Two Questions With…(The Halloween Edition) Blog tour has been put to rest.

Or has it?

Be sure to check out the blogs of the other authors on the tour to see their recaps:

Anne Raven

Pat Esden

K Bird Lincoln

R. J. Theodore

Janet Walden-West

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I’ll see you in a few days for the next Five Thing Thursday.

In the meantime, check out the Freebies page for story Excerpts.

Be Safe Y’All

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One Response to Two Questions With…The Final Nail in the Coffin

  1. Pingback: Five Thing Thursday: November 8th. | Ken Schrader

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