When I was a kid, I had night terrors…nightmares that would grab me and not let me go. For eight years my bedroom as at one end of our apartment and my parents’ room was at the other. A fairly large living room and steps leading downstairs and outside separated us. I felt lost, a little kid in a little room with great big scares.
When I called out to my parents, my father would come into my room and whip me with his belt. I guess that was how you solved child fears in the 1950s. I also had a couple of sessions with a child shrink. The only thing I remember about that is the Disney characters mural on his wall.
A few years later, around the age of 10, I started to read Poe. I fell in love with the darkness of his stories and his poems. He understood. Maybe he had night terrors as a child. He saw the monsters, too. So did Lovecraft, King and many others.
Monsters are all around us. We need only to watch or read the news to see that. But I make-up MY monsters, just like I did sixty years ago. But sixty years ago I didn’t know that I could also “unmake” them. That’s what we forget to tell our children. Their monsters are real to them…they’re theirs. And as their very own monsters, they can blow them away…or blow them up or shove them out the door.
Why do I write paranormal and horror?
Maybe like Stephen King said (paraphrasing): It’s like drawing a magic circle around me and the people I love so that these bad things won’t happen to them.
Maybe I like creating a monster that scared me all those years ago and then taking it out…like I should have back then.