The Drug That Chose Me, or Why Do I Write Horror?
By Pamela Morris
At the age of ten, my best friend’s brother gave me his copy of Dracula. In 1977, I wrote my first ghost story, “The Strange Well”. I was eleven. A couple of years later, I’d receive my first Ouija board as a birthday gift from my grandmother. That night, she sat me down and taught me how to use it. My mother and I would spend almost every Saturday afternoon watching Horror movies on “Monster Movie Matinee”. As I grew older Carolyn Keene and Nancy Drew were replaced by Stephen King and Carrie. For all these reasons and more, I don’t believe I chose to write Horror at all. I believe Horror chose me. It has never been a conscious decision to love the genre any more than I decided to have brown hair and hazel eyes. It was just always there, always part of my life and what I identified with.
My love of Horror movies grew hand-in-hand with my love of writing. Joining the two was never a question, perhaps that wasn’t a choice, either.
Answering the question, “Why do you write Horror,” required a fair amount of thought, maybe too much. And because of that tendency to over think, mine is a two-part answer.
Part 1 – I write Horror because I love to read Horror.
Horror enthrals me like no other genre. It captures my known senses of fear, apprehension, and profound curiosity. It ignites in my imagination the questions of what may or may not be dwelling around me at any given moment in any given place. Are the spirits of the dead beside me? Can we really talk to them? Photograph them? Do some people possess supernatural powers and the abilities to manipulate their surroundings? What other beings, considered paranormal, exist right here on this very earth we call home and why can’t we all see them?
Horror piques my curiosity. It makes me wonder. It inspires me to delve deeper into the history of unexplained events that have been happening on Earth for hundreds of years. It gives me goosebumps and it makes me feel alive. It’s not predictable, it doesn’t make me yawn, and because of personal experiences, I can totally relate to it.
The genre holds so many possibilities. Time doesn’t matter. It can happen in the distant past, in the present, or a thousand years from now. Place doesn’t matter. It can happen in the bustling city of London, a small town in Wyoming, an island in the middle of the ocean, the frozen Arctic tundra, even outer space. And no one is exempt from the clawing hand of Horror. Gramma Rose could really be a vampire, the local high school football hero might be conducting Black Mass in the basement when his parents are out of town, and all those kids at the playground yesterday? Yup, the possibility does exist that they are aliens in the guise of children sent ahead of the Mothership.
We are a race of phobics. Anything we don’t understand, we fear. And we don’t understand A LOT of things. But, I believe man’s greatest fear is the unknown. What’s in the dark? Where’s that sound coming from? Why is that child crying? When I’m sleeping, are spiders crawling over my face? What happens when we die? These questions raise our heart rate and pump adrenaline into our blood.
Which bring me to Part 2 of my answer – I write Horror because I’m both an addict and a dealer.
Like any junkie who’s addicted, once you taste the possible answers to those heart-pounding questions – you’re hooked. You need more of that sticky, dark, red Horror juice that tastes of copper and salt. I’ve done my time standing in the queue, one trembling fist clenched around my hard-earned cash, the other gripping my paperback bound drug of choice, sweat glistening on my brow. Sometimes I’m still that desperate junkie twitching for my fix.
In the past ten years or so, I’ve become the maker of the drug they crave. I’ve become the dealer not just of fear, but the possible gut-wrenching answers.
And oh, the glorious possibilities! I’ll tell you when, where, and who you are. I’ll show you what to be afraid of. I’ll give you the light of hope only to drain the batteries at the worst possible moment then I’ll drag you, kicking, screaming, and clawing into the darkness that just might be the end. Death will stalk you and those you’ve grown to love. And, if all is going to my insidious plan, you’ll be helpless to stop any of it. In fact, you and your sick little mind that I so admire will want to know more. You’ll crave just one more hit, just one more chapter.
Truth is, you do have the power to quit. Why you’d want to baffles me. All you need to do is close the book. I hope you won’t. I hope you’ll keep reading. That’s my payment, knowing you can’t stop. Knowing that I’ve kept you awake until way past your bedtime. I’ve hooked you. You’ll come back for more and I am compelled to deliver.
I write Horror because my best friend’s brother loaned me his copy of Dracula when I was ten; at the age of eleven, the ghost in “The Strange Well” reached up and bit me with the writing bug; because Grandma taught me how to use the Ouija board shortly after; and because mom sat with me so many times and watched horror movies. It’s been the best, longest, and most amazing relationship of my life and I with all my heart and all my passion, I want to share that dark ecstasy with you.
Raised in the Finger Lakes region of Upstate New York, but forever longing for the white sands of her birthplace in New Mexico, Pamela has always loved mysteries and the macabre. Combining the two in her own writing, along with her love for historical research and genealogy, came naturally. Hours spent watching ‘Monster Movie Matinee’, ‘Twilight Zone’, ‘Kolchak: The Night Stalker”, and a myriad of Hammer Films also helped with her Horror obsession. She loves to read works by traditional 19th century Gothic Horror writers such as Poe, Stoker, Radcliffe, and Collins. Her modern Horror author favorites include Tanith Lee, Stephen King, Hunter Shea, and Shirley Jackson.
Outside of her work as a writer, Pamela enjoys drawing & painting, watching bad B-Movies, remaining ever vigilant to the possibility of encountering a UFO or Bigfoot, taking road trips with her husband on the Harley, getting the occasional tattoo, feeding the local murder of crows in her back yard, and being The Final Guys cult leader. Otherwise, she’s perfectly normal.
You can find out more about Pamela by visiting her official website www.pamelamorrisbooks.com
You can follow Pamela on Twitter @pamelamorris65
The Witch’s Backbone
If the curse is real, how do they stop it from killing them all?
The curse and the witch that goes with it are real, leaving behind four friends searching for a way to free themselves from a horror that appears inescapable. One man knows the answer, but fear for his own life prevents him from revealing it. Will the horrible knowledge he possesses really work? Or is there only one way to end the witch’s curse, let it play out and watch one child after another die?