Being the sort of person who never did care much for sweets, Halloween has always been about the surprise for myself. This is the one day when being weird is fully accepted, when wreaking havoc is only kids being kids. This is a day when shock and awe are the norm, and being socially acceptable falls to the wayside. It is a night for ghosts and ghouls and Frankenstein, horror movies past midnight, spooky noises that keep you awake long after everyone else has gone to bed. For these reasons the day suits me.
I’ve never been one for dressing up. Even as a child I used to do what one friend of mine referred to as “cheating.” Hey, not everyone has an affinity for the makeup and attire that turns one from an ordinary person into something terrifying. Some of us are gifted in other areas. For instance, I tend to favor the “trick” portion of the old saying.
As a kid I would smear fake blood against the corners of my mouth and chase the girls around during recess, chomping away with my fake plastic fangs. When I was old enough to reach I would unscrew people’s porch lights, and as I became bolder I would surprise them with a scream. The older I turned the more it became about surprising unsuspecting people, whether by leaping out of a pile of leaves or dressing up as a scarecrow. A few years back I even rigged various items to my porch via filament lines in hopes of dropping them upon unsuspecting visitors for a scare.
For me it is all about the emotion. My passion is to invoke surprise, to cause the heart to skip a beat. The joy of heightened senses and then the unease that follows after you learn you have been victim to someone’s trick.
I found this joy as a child and I have nurtured it over the years. What once was about physically frightening someone transformed into a quest to bring those same feelings and emotions to a reader. This is no easy task, but to have someone walk away from a story with these sensations is what a writer lives for. I’ve embraced this as much as I have anything in my life.
Joining the HWA has only aided in refining that effort. I’ve met people who have been interested in helping others and for that I am grateful. Keep writing; work at doing it well and with each attempt you will improve. Seek out whatever resources are available to you and embrace them with that same eager passion.
Kenneth W. Cain is a dark fiction author from Eastern Pennsylvania, where he lives with his wife and two children. His work has appeared and is forthcoming in several publications with many other great authors. He has penned a three novel series with more to follow, a collection of short stories and flash fiction, a handful of illustrated children’s books, and is currently involved in a collaborative project for a young adult series. http://kennethwcain.com. Reckoning, the third book in his series, The Saga of I, will be published this fall and his novel The Dead Civil War is planned for release in December, both from Post Mortem Press.
TODAY’S GIVEAWAYS: One paperback copy each of the following books: These Trespasses, Grave Revelations, These Old Tales, 3 Fun Tales About Monsters (children’s book), and Frankie’s Alphabet (children’s book). To enter the contest, simply post a comment below or send a e-mail to email@example.com and put HH CONTEST ENTRY in the header. Winners will be chosen at random.