Wednesday, May 21, 2008

I am very pleased to introduce my friend Melody Knight, who graciously agreed to prepare a post to celebrate the release of her book GlassWorks from Red Rose Publishing, which is out TODAY! Welcome her with many posts!

Simply Horror-ble

I write horror novels. When I tell people that, they have a difficult time believing it. After all, I look much more like a blonde bimbo than someone who creates monsters in the privacy of her living room. But I just love writing horror…

I didn't begin with any intention of writing scary stuff. I wrote fantasy at first. When a movie company told me they liked my "voice", and asked whether I could write science fiction, I said "Of course", then proceeded to learn how. The horror crept in, though, from that first fantasy draft. It was a product of the thrill, the suspense, the edginess. It wasn't until I hit my paranormal stride that the true horror hit the surface. Now it just sits there much of the time, treading water…

How did my romance novels sprout? Frankly, it was a matter of expediency. I felt that my SF, fantasy, and horror novels weren't really acquiring enough of a public, which meant I needed to push my personal envelope. I'd already done that with book in a month, so I decided to push it further. Romance-writing friends assured me I could do it. I just needed to learn how.

Talk about your learning curves! Romance is very different from science fiction and other speculative fiction genres. The characterization must be shifted, from response/react to a situation, to response/react to one other person. And to be honest, in romance the storyline is not nearly as important as the emotional journey. The setting is window dressing to illustrate your protagonists' qualities, whether good or bad. Qualifiers for the interaction.

Which do I enjoy writing more? The books of my heart, of course, which you might automatically assume are books of The Heart. Wrong! I love writing my SF, fantasy, and paranormal suspense novels much more than romances. I like romances for their brevity, and the fact I can produce twice the number of books and know there are readers out there for them.

Does this sound awful? Not to me, because the romance genre has been an eye-opening experience! Never have I met more authors I like, or experienced the camaraderie, the interaction with readers, the appreciation by the public, or the fun that I have experienced writing romance. As far as "emotional journeys" go, writing romances can't be beat! Just as the characterization in romance novels is different, so is the relationship between writers. Romance novelists, from what I can see, are more open and eager to network, to help out their fellows. I love it!

If I had a chance to do it over, would I still write romances? Yes, but I'd begin writing them sooner. Romances are a hopeful genre, with Happily Ever Afters around every curve, and a horror writer needs that kind of upbeat feedback.

Three cheers for the romance novelist!

Thanks, J. K., for inviting me to blog today!


Excerpt from GlassWorks

Cate picked up the slab of glass from its tilted resting spot. It had dropped nearly intact. Her fingers shook as the first tracings of shimmery silica began to move beneath the surface. All those crystalline lattices somehow rearranging themselves…

She froze, her breath frosting the glass from the sudden chill. Gooseflesh rose on her skin as the air around her grew cold.

It had never happened this way before.

The man was lying there, in the glass, his body sprawled with the indignity of all things dead and unburied. Cate's breath caught in her throat, the unspent fog almost choking her. Oh, God!

It wasn't here—hadn't happened here—but it was happening now.

There was an argument lingering, on the air. She couldn't see the moment of confrontation, or the altercation, but it had been about the mutilated body on the ground. About how to deal with it, to cast off blame with as much ease as they'd cast away his life.

Only, they didn't realize he could hear them still. Hear them and hate them.

Because it had always been about his looks. His looks, and justifying what he was. The grave they were giving him, the twisted notoriety they were planning, would leave him neither looks nor justice.

Cate's eyes focused on his face. What they'd done, what they were doing to the rest of him didn't bear watching.

But, apparently, she did. Bear watching, that is.

The corpse's eyes opened, to stare straight at her.

Cate flinched, twitched, recoiled, but she couldn't let go. Some part of her was screaming, but she was no longer sure whether it was her...or him.

She clung to the pane, trapped. When, a forever it seemed, later, she freed her fingers enough to fling it, she remained there rigid, staring, as the moonglow image shattered in a hundred spiky shards.

Some part of her was still recoiling, as if in reflex to a striking snake.

God help me!

In those instants of metaphysical contact, she felt as though one shriveled digit had touched her. Spanned the gap between life and death—

I'm not a medium!

She'd never been a medium—never even come close. It had been the one blessing, in an otherwise twisted gift, that however conversant she might have become with a dead person's past, she was never conversant with the dead!

Until now, it seemed. Cate backed away, panted white puffs coiling and twisting in the otherwise still air.

I'm not alone.

It should have been comforting, that there was a taxi driver waiting just outside, but somehow, it came out differently. That "I'm not alone" was filled with horror. The taxi driver might be outside, but something else moved within. In a dreadful moment, she knew she'd brought this on herself—that by coming here she'd been willing, demanding almost, a contact with his person—had wanted so badly to save him, that she'd drawn in a soul barely severed from its body.

Cate backed, tripped, twisted, and ran. She tore the length of the room as though the Devil were at her heels, and slammed open the end door with a loud squawking thunk. Using two hands, Cate wrenched the door closed again, locking evil within. She stumbled back, the small door pane fixing her into its framed panel.

He wasn't within. Behind her, his hatred ever so much more pronounced in proximity, was the mutilated visage of the recently deceased.


J.K. Coi said...

That's wonderful Melody, but now you've got me curious. What movie company? And what did you write for them?

Elyssa Papa said...

I love the book cover and the story sounds awesome.

I, too, want to know more about the movie company!!