Does art influence reality?
I was thinking about that this summer, especially after the Aurora Cinema shooting during a Batman movie.

I’d had a germ of a story partially written and decided to use that theme to flesh it out. But I twisted it a bit and set it in the 1840s with the influential “art” a short story by one Edgar Allan Poe. My short story became part of an anthology, Tales from the Mist. This book is horror/paranormal/fantasy and is selling well on Amazon.

So does art influence reality? Would my story “make” someone do something similar to what my heroine does?

In light of the recent tragedy in Connecticut, many of us have been asking if video games make certain players immune to violence. Do television shows and books about crimes, real or fictional, also numb us?

Novelist Andrew Kaufman addressed that in a recent blog on Crime Fiction Collective. His take on the question was that mystery writers who author books on crime usually foster a sense of empowerment and provide hope.

And so I come back to my question, specifically in regard to my own short story. “To E. A. Poe” empowers but in not the same way Andrew Kaufman suggests; the empowerment of the heroine is not a benign empowerment. It also does not end with a lesson of hope or redemption.

I’ve been reading paranormal and horror writers for most of my life, under the covers when I was a child, out of my parents’ sight. I’ve read most of Katherine Ramsland’s books about serial killers. Crime, horror, the occult, the paranormal, cryptozoology, ufology have always fascinated me. However, I’m not about to commit a murder or dive for the Loch Ness Monster.

Reality influences art.
Art influences reality.
And sometimes crazy people do crazy things.

One thought on “

  1. Yep. Crazy people do crazy things. And evil people do evil things. But they can’t (in my opinion) blame things they’ve read or seen. People generally know right from wrong – even when they haven’t been taught. The choices they make are their own.

    Knowing that though – I would still be completely devastated if someone used something I wrote as an excuse for their crimes. I enjoy reading and writing darker fiction. That doesn’t mean I want it to become reality.


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