Thursday, October 11, 2018

What Scares Us?



What are we most afraid of? According to the Answers Issue of TIME MAGAZINE, most Americans’ biggest personal fear—even more than public speaking—is walking alone at night. That would certainly rank up there for me. Do you feel the same?

In honor of Halloween, it seems only fitting to write on the subject of horror fiction. Why do readers want to read it? When people talk about horror fiction, they might let out an involuntary shudder. However, horror fiction isn’t just about the gruesome. It’s not just about the supernatural, ghosts, goblins, ghouls, gremlins, etc. No, it’s really about what we fear, what we dread most. These things may be ordinary, like a pit bull off the leash running toward us, or extraordinary, like meeting a vampire in a neighborhood bar at midnight. We have fears that are both usual and the unusual.

Horror fiction will not be going away any time soon because it is human nature to feel fear as an emotion. Horror fiction helps us handle these feelings, helps us confront our terrors, those within us and those in the environment around us. I have read Dean Koontz and Stephen King, Anna Rice and many writers of occult mystery and romance fiction with interest.

My adult novel DARK MOON RISING is a Gothic romance that features female ghosts from different centuries who haunt male members of an aristocratic family. The novel combines romance, mystery, suspense and paranormal horror. As I wrote some of the chapters, I confess I actually frightened myself.
                                             http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00Z7824A4/ 

                 My latest YA novel WITCH WISH has a supernatural edge.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07DRB3VVH
 
https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/witch-wish/id1401568260?mt=11
 

THE DEVIL AND DANNA WEBSTER, my prior YA, has a Faustian theme.


               http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00JZYXW7K/


THE BAD WIFE, 4th mystery novel in the Kim Reynolds series, also has a paranormal edge. Kim, an academic librarian, is a reluctant clairvoyant who has visions which cause her to both solve and prevent crime.
                        
                                    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00J6PCKVW 

Back to my initial question: what scares us? Global warming has me seriously concerned. It was the impetus for my novella THE BURNING which deal with the suffering experienced by a family and an entire community due to a coal fire burning underground. It’s reality based.



The New York Times recently published information on climate
change which supports the inferences of my factional fiction:
click&module=Most%20Popular&pgtype=Homepage


What are your thoughts and opinions? What frightens you?

17 comments:

  1. What scares me? Well, I enjoy walking at night, but it definitely depends on where I'm walking. It's lovely in my neighborhood, but would have been dangerous in other neighborhoods I used to live in. As for what else scares me now? The coming end of a livable environment, the decline in our democracy, and the ease with which people tell lies or tolerate lying, violence, etc. Everything else pales in comparison. This is a changed world.

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    1. Well-said, Susan. I totally agree with you.

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  2. Great post Jacqueline!
    Walking alone at night isn't my idea of fun that's for sure!
    I don't watch or read horror or true crime or those types of shows/books either - my soul can't take it.
    Good luck and God's blessings
    PamT

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  3. Pam,

    For some reason, I find horror fiction interesting and write some as well, although psychological not gory. But I won't watch horror movies. They give me the creeps!

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  4. What scares me are snakes! I avoid them at the zoo (all reptiles, actually) and everywhere else.

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  5. Carol,

    I'm not a snake lover either. Was it the first Raiders of the Lost Ark in which Indiana Jones had that great scene where he said: "I hate snakes"? It was memorable.

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  6. I also agree with Susan. A lot of what's going on today scares me. But, besides that, I've always been afraid of the "boogie man" and I'm sure he's lurking somewhere out there in the dark. This is especially true when I'm in Florida and take my dog out for a late night pee and I hear a splash in the creek behind our place...or a rustle in the brush. I can't read King or Koontz...my imagination alone scares me.

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  7. I haven't read King or Koontz much lately but think they both write quality fiction. But a lot of the mystery thrillers offer pretty scary stuff as well.

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  8. Walking during the day anymore can scare me! If you watch the news, no one is safe anywhere. A guy in Houston was caught by the garbage man, trying to stuff a woman in his trunk while she was walking in her neighborhood during the day! There is a plethora of things to write about! Funny enough, our story coming out in December starts with a woman in a trunk. We wrote this way before the Houston event, but it’s always a fear of mine. Great topic!

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    1. Hi Zari,

      We hear horror stories that are true every day. It's very disturbing.

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  9. I, too, am sad that lying is so prevalent and so acceptable in America today. It seems to contaminate personal relationships, business commitments, and even religious affiliations. As trend-setter Donald Trump would say: "Sad."

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  10. When an attendee at a writers' conference asked a speaker to suggest a topic for a novel, her answer was: "Write your worst nightmare." I did that. JUSU AND MOTHER EARTH was the first of my dozen manuscripts to sell. It was the eighth I had written. That was in 1999. It was not sci-fi or fantasy, but was based on my greatest fear at the time. It is still available online.

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    Replies
    1. Sharon,

      It sound very intriguing. I hope you saved your earlier work and still submit them. Chances are they will need some updating and re-editing but it is worth doing.

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  11. Dean Koontz scares me more than Stephen King, but let's consider the latter writer's oeuvre: His Misery scared me more than Carrie. What scares me are the real horrors of real life! Sure, Misery was fiction, but real life psychos are like the antagonist in Misery--seemingly ordinary people doing horrible things. Just my take, of course.
    Good discussion!
    r/Steve

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  12. Steve,

    Real life is lots more terrifying than fiction. I completely agree with you.

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  13. Oh, boy, I totally agree with you, Jacquie. Real life scares me a whole lot more than horror fiction. Having written that, I should also confess that I had to turn off THE LOST BOYS because it scared me too much. It was in the daytime and I was at home, sick. But really, anyone who stops watching that silly movie during the bright daylight hours because it scared the snot out of her probably shouldn't read horror. So I don't :-)

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  14. Funny you should mention that particular film. My sons were teenagers when we saw it together. They loved the film. I didn't find it that frightening, but there are other horror flicks that have had me shaking.

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