As a person I’m always one to look at the positive things. In fact, I feel saddened when I hear people complain about little things, and when I fall into that trap – for who doesn’t at some point? – I chide myself for not being appreciative and get on a different track. As a result of my optimistic outlook, I always thought that as a writer it’s my duty to make others feel good, to give them a few hours of escapism from a difficult world.
I still believe this. I still want to put a smile on someone’s face and let lightheartedness happily zip through them while they’re reading the words I’ve penned.
Yet, something inside me puts up a bit of a fight because I can’t help injecting the dark into my plots and characters. It is as though an invisible hand is guiding me, and I am helpless in its grip. Horror and romance… darkness and light… are they mutually exclusive?
Which leads me into…
The brand of horror that I gravitate towards. Until I wrote A Kind of Judgment I’d never written a story of horror before. I also used to think (wrongly, of course) that horror as a genre involved lots of blood, gore and perhaps vampires or zombies. I did always love the old-fashioned gothic tales set in the Victorian era, a fascinating period where the Occult and other mysteries were extensively explored. Based on this, I realized that there need not be blood or mutilated body parts for a story to be frightening… and that the horror genre can be as diverse, colorful and interesting as one could possibly imagine.
In fact, in A Kind of Judgment there is not even a drop shed, a throat slit, or a head axed. The story that came to me was drawn from life, and, as some reviewers noted, derives from a type of horror that is completely plausible. For this is the type of horror that I find truly frightening – a lost life, a past of tragedy and regret, a forgettable present, and a hopeless future. It is the tragic circumstance of the human condition that fascinates me in its detail – the failings of the individual spirit, and the consequences of flawed decisions.
I cannot dwell on such misfortune for too long because it truly distresses me. But I found that even in romantic plots, having a few ounces of heartbreak, a worthy baggage of misfortune – not silly misgivings – makes for deep, compelling characters. Thus, claiming that happy resolution can be so much sweeter after one has touched horror in some way. A happy ending is then deserved, as well as better understood.
In A Kind of Judgment, though, there is no romance. It was one of those types of stories that gave me no easy answer. It surprised me greatly that I was compelled to write something like this because each time I re-read this story my heart breaks a little more. I had to tell it, though, because somewhere in this world (perhaps next door or a block down from you) exists a woman just like Lena, with the same hopes and fears, the same fate, and the same damaged life. Here, I acknowledged Lena’s horror, simply commiserated with her and accepted her, because adding a rose lining to her story would have been both untrue and insulting.
So, what do you consider truly frightening horror? In what way has horror touched you, or have you touched horror? The kind of horror that doesn’t let you sleep at night…
A KIND OF JUDGMENT is available for download now on Amazon
US - http://www.amazon.com/A-Kind-of-Judgment-ebook/dp/B007N33PL8/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpt_1
UK - http://www.amazon.co.uk/A-Kind-of-Judgment-ebook/dp/B007N33PL8/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1333115938&sr=1-1
A Kind of Judgment, a short tale of horror.
A vignette of noir fiction, if you will.
Life can be Hell...
A single choice is like a hidden hand of cards that can lead to victory or downfall. Born in the rural South, Lena finds herself half way across the world decades after escaping abuse and neglect. Now, she faces the demons of her past while a terrible darkness awaits.
Natalie writes stories of romance, suspense, paranormal and horror, sometimes set in exotic locations. She got her first taste of serious writing in her teens by penning poetry, short stories, and articles for college and local publications. At university, she trained as a lawyer. In 2006, she started freelancing as a writer and editor, and later still, she finally turned to thinking up plots and talking to her characters when everyone else was asleep. She sold her first story to an e-publisher in 2007.
Natalie is married and has one son. She spent 11 years in Atlanta, Georgia, but since 2009 she calls the beautiful island of Malta home. When she isn't working or writing, she enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, watching a good movie, taking trips, and most of all, reading. Her tastes in books are eclectic, but she possesses an extensive collection of romance and mystery novels, both in print and on e-reader. She loves to meet other authors and readers. Her strong belief is that creativity shouldn't be put in a neat little box. All writers should write what's in their heart - as long as they give it their best.
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Thank you so much, Natalie!
Thank you so much, Natalie!