It's the 9th Day of Twisted here today and we have Red Tash, author of This Brilliant Darkness... After you read this, make sure you run over and enter the contest going on at Red's blog!!
Thanks for having me on your blog, Rachel! Especially today, when I'm rounding up the last-minute entries to my Trick or Treat Bash. I released my first novel recently, and I've been hosting a Halloween-themed giveaway in celebration, ever since. In fact, many of your guest bloggers have contributed to the Grand Prize: a loaded Kindle! Yep, I'm giving away a new Kindle, and it's going to be loaded with novels and short stories perfect for the Halloween mood. How's that for cool? 2nd and 3rd prizes are Amazon gift cards, and free copies of my book This Brilliant Darkness, as well. Hope to see some of your readers around the Bash before it ends on the 16th!
So, I write scary stuff. That's not all I write (in my other life I am a journalist), but since I released my book, that's where my focus has been. Lately I have been asked several times how or why I started writing. That's a long and boring story, probably, but here's a tiny part of it that I just remembered, while looking at a pretty fearsome photo. One of the first serious fiction pieces I wrote was horror. And I never thought of myself as a horror writer, back then. Ironically, I dreamed of being as big as Stephen King, but I did *not* want to write horror! LOL!
So, back in high school (yes, we’re climbing into the Way Back Machine, hold onto your hats), there was a writing competition by the Literary Guild, or Literary Society, or Literary Club, or something like that. I wasn’t a member, only because I was too damned busy running the yearbook and other diversions.
Anyway, they had a contest. I submitted a story. I have absolutely no recollection what that story was about, but it won. They even gave me a decent cash prize. I think it was $50 or something, which ain’t too shabby for a kid in rural Indiana in the early 90s.
The Literary Club was preparing some kind of publication, perhaps a journal…? Anyway, they lost my story, so they asked me if I could rewrite it. Yep, this was in the olden days, children, before we typed everything out and had saved copies. They’d lost my only copy of this hand-written masterpiece, and they were deeply remorseful.
I replied honestly—I didn’t have the heart to rewrite it. I just couldn’t. I guess it was too demoralizing for the 17 y.o. emo-when-emo-wasn’t-cool version of Red.
So, I offered a compromise. I would write them a *new* story for their journal.
And I did. I wrote a horror story, instead. Again, I don’t remember a thing about that first story, only that it wasn’t horror. Don’t get me wrong, I can do light and fluffy! It’s just not my favorite, and perhaps this story I’m telling you now reveals why I write the kind of fiction I do.
There was a boy. (Isn’t there always a boy?) He was a complete jackass. I understand he grew up to be a deadbeat “dad,” among other things, so I’m assuming he still is one. Anyway, I digress.
I was waiting for that jackass to check in at the military recruiting office. I don’t know if they were just going ahead and giving him a physical, or what, but he was in there a VERY long time.
I guess that long, frustrating wait really poisoned my mood (that, along with the jackass), so I wrote a story about a little boy who went completely crazy and slaughtered his family with a large kitchen knife. I think I made that kid about 6 years old.
Never heard from the Literary Club again.
Kids, I think, are inherently dangerous. They shout threats that they mean with all their hearts, and the silent thoughts they bear inside their minds are often deadly. Especially the revenge plans. I challenge you to meet any killer who ruthlessly slays others, who doesn’t have the heart of an abused child. I mean that.
And, hey, even the nice ones are hiding all those TEETH. Think about it.
HEY, speaking of winning contests, enter mine while you still have time. It ends October 16th, winners announced on the 17th!
Links, for your convenience:
My blog: http://RedTash.com
Kindle Giveaway: http://RedTash.com/bash
This Brilliant Darkness: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005LSNB2A/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=myxangaweblog-20&linkCode=as2&camp=217145&creative=399373&creativeASIN=B005LSNB2A
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