Guest Post: Eric Dean

Published February 17, 2015 by administrator

Guest Time! Say hello once again to Eric Dean. He was part of the weekend’s madness, and he was so wonderful in working with me on my A Bloody Valentine event that I wanted to show him some extra love. Here’s what he has to say about the craft of writing (and be sure to check out him out on the web at http://www.ericwrites.com):


The hardest thing about writing is writing, and unfortunately, the only way to do it is just to do it. I’ve spent most of what life I can actually remember wanting to be a writer. I spent a good deal of the latter half planning to be a writer. Only in the last couple years have I actually been writing, in the hopes of one day becoming a writer. So, once you tackle that aspect of the process, what the hell do you actually write about? As a kid, I wanted to be a fantasy and sci-fi writer, because that’s what I enjoyed reading. It turns out fate had other plans, as an experimental foray into writing horror led to recognition and appreciation, and a soul-deep need for recognition and appreciation led to writing more horror. Funny how that works.

So, once you’ve decided to write horror, what’s the process? What the point? What’s the goal? Haven’t we exhausted every possibility in the genre? Do we really need more Lovecraftian stories about giant, otherworldly beasts from time immemorial? Do we need more slasher-porn in written form with exhaustingly detailed descriptions of torture and dismemberment? How many unique spins can we put on the vampire or zombie story? Why am I asking so many questions? I guess because I’m still trying to find the answers, myself. What makes a horror story new, interesting and successful? The truth is, I don’t know. I’ve only been at this for a short time, and unlike most writers (I assume), I’m not much of a reader. I do read, but maybe only three or four books a year, and most of them aren’t horror (or even fiction, for that matter).

When I decide to write a horror story, it’s usually because a story I need to tell happens to be horror, not because I set out to write a zombie story, or a vampire story, or an evil, man-eating toilet story. I get a lot of ideas for stories, and some of them are horror. Because I’m “writing horror” now, I follow up on those ideas and set the others aside for the future. To me, horror isn’t just about being shocked or scared, but about being uncomfortable, confused, lost, and disoriented. What scares me aren’t monsters or gore, but loneliness and emptiness… suddenly looking around and realizing that you have no idea who you are, where you are, or how you got there. To me, the most horrifying thing I can imagine is waking up at 50 and realizing I was never a writer… that I never did what I had been wanting to do since I was a kid. I think my stories revolve around themes like that – not facing a monster so much as facing yourself, your past, and coming to terms with who you really are. It can be just as terrifying and painful as getting eviscerated by a werewolf. I mean, I’ve never been eviscerated by a werewolf, but I HAVE been in love, and there’s no way they’re that different.


THE STATE OF HORROR SERIES

Edited by Jerry E. Benns
From Charon Coin Press

Eric Dean is featured in State of Horror: Illinois.

State of Horror: Illinois State of Horror: New Jersey State of Horror: North Carolina
State of Horror: Illinois State of Horror: New Jersey State of Horror North Carolina
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