CONFESSIONS OF A HALLOWE’EN HORROR WRITER
By Sara Jayne Townsend
My fascination with horror began as a teenager. At age 14, when I stomped around full of adolescent angst, stories of fear and despair became appealing. In the first horror stories I wrote, around age 17, I wanted to shock people, and I was fond of the ‘twist’ ending. Later on, I began to use writing as therapy. Most of the stories I wrote in my twenties and early thirties were melancholy, angsty tales full of unhappy lonely people in undesirable situations. Someone generally died an unpleasant death. In retrospect, I realise that I was using writing as a way of dealing with my own fears and securities. Certain themes made recurring appearances – death; isolation; loneliness; betrayal.
The collection of stories in SOUL SCREAMS were written over a 20-year-period – the earliest were written when I was seventeen. It is these recurring themes that tie them all together. Some of these stories are supernatural horror, but most are more psychological, dealing with the demons in the mind rather than those with physical form.
I am still fond of horror stories, but my more recent work has been decidedly less angsty, dealing with old-fashioned scary supernatural monsters rather than psychologically dysfunctional humans. Does this mean I have put some of my own personal demons to rest, and no longer need to write about them? It would be nice to think that after 42 years I have learned how to let a few of those demons go. But I’m still fond of a good old scary story.
Actually, that should be 43 years. After all, I’ve got a birthday coming up...
Sara Jayne Townsend is a UK-based writer of crime and horror. Her latest book, SOUL SCREAMS is a collection of short horror stories and is available in paperback and e-book formats from Stumar Press (http://stumarpress.webs.com/soulscreams.htm)
To learn more about Sara and her writing, check out her website at http://sarajaynetownsend.weebly.com/ and her blog at http://sayssara.wordpress.com/.