31 Days of Horror – Day One
It’s been awhile since I’ve done any regular blogging – and yes I had to rewrite that sentence as “serious’ blogging is something I’ve never done. But with October upon us, I thought I’d stretch the old crickety writing muscles, that may or may not look like tethered cobwebs attached to bone, in order to share with you 31 haunts and horrors in an effort to spread all that nasty good cheer.
For day one, I thought I’d highlight an author who inspired me to stop talking about being a writer, or thinking about being a writer, and actually write. I stumbled onto one of this author’s early novels back when Kindle’s were this new invention. The novel is an insane glimpse into a family on the run from an outbreak or virus that–like most good novels–is never fully explained. Because the reason isn’t important, what is important is what the family has to go through and how that descent into hell actually mends what was previously torn apart.
I devoured the book and, of course, shared it with family and friends. And then I discovered this author had a backlog. So I read those books. And every book he’s published since. He’s gone on to a level of success that is quite deserving, with a television series based on one of his trilogies, to now movie deals and much more. But back when I began reading his work, I discovered that this author self-published his first few books. And they were brilliant. I realized, too, that he and I were just about the same age, and here he was living out his dream of being a writer while I was just planning on being a writer “one day.”
This, coupled with a few other things that all aligned as these things often do, inspired me to stop thinking about writing and to just go for it. It gave me the permission I was waiting for to make mistakes, but to do so while falling upwards, to hone my craft, and to keep coming back to that well.
The author in question is Blake Crouch. While we haven’t met, and he no doubt has no clue who I am, watching his career and seeing what could be done was an integral part of my becoming a published author. And while I certainly don’t expect the level of success he’s achieved, this past month I was able to participate in a special limited release anthology, signing my name at the bottom of a signature page where Blake’s signature is scrawled at the top. It might seem small to most people, but to me it was like meeting one of your literary heroes. (Which is another story I’ll have to share later this month).
Crouch has his own unique writing style and utilizes a minimalistic approach, but his ability to inject terror onto the page while spinning a vision no one else could have come up with is second to none.
So for Day One of 31 Days of Horror, I invite you to read a little Crouch. Then you too will be telling your friends and their friends and maybe even that weird guy that likes your occasional posts on social media. And who knows, maybe that will inspire yet one more closet writer to share their own unique visions with the world.