Welcome to the official blog of Maumee Valley Romance Writers of America! We're a local writers' group in the Toledo, Ohio area. Most of us write romance, but we also have members who write other genres too. New members are always welcome to visit or join the group. See the meetings page for details. We post every Monday and Friday about all things book-related. Whether you're a writer, reader, or both, we hope you'll stop by often and get to know our dozen contributors.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Yep, it's Halloween, and I'm goin' there...

‘I am the literary equivalent of a Big Mac and Fries.’
~ Stephen King

Oh, but don’t we love a Big Mac and fries?

Okay, some of us don’t, but when you think about what he’s saying, he’s absolutely right. A Big Mac, both when you break it down into its components and consider it as a whole, is disturbing, scary, and to some delicious. So, you might say, is a good Stephen King novel.

I’m a huge fan of his early work. Cujo, Christine, ‘Salem’s Lot (shiver), Pet Cemetery… The Shining, the first horror novel I ever read, by the way, gave me nightmares and inspired me to hide all of my stuffed animals in my closet after the topiary scene. (I was sixteen, so it was probably time anyway.) Misery had me so enthralled that my husband at the time left for work and came home to find me in the same spot on the couch two days in a row. (I’d spent the time in between taking care of our brand new baby, cooking, cleaning and doing laundry while he was gone, but it didn’t look so good from his perspective.) It was simply a period self-torture because I, like lots of other people I know, get the big-time willies from clowns, even when they’re just supposed to be funny.

I’ve never been a big reader of horror novels in particular, but I like to shake myself up every so often. I love Richard Kadrey and Chuck Palahniuk's dark and twisty minds. Bram Stoker’s Dracula is the scariest vampire novel I’ve personally ever read. Period. I’ve got a dog-eared copy of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein as well. I didn’t get very far into her vampire series, but The Witching Hour and The Mummy (hubba hubba) are two of my favorite Anne Rice novels. Neither of those is particularly scary, but they're loaded with lots of love, angst, and drama, drama, drama.

And whether we write it or just enjoy reading it, who among us doesn’t like a little of the paranormal in our romance novels? I bet there aren’t a lot of hands up right now.

The world of romance can be a murky bog to wade through - especially if you head into it hunting down the vampire/witch/fallen angel you’re meant to love forever and ever - but there’s always sunshine, or moonlight, when you make it to the other side. Do you find you like to travel out of the traditional romance world and into the dark on occasion? If you do, what are some of the books that take you there?

And whether you like it squeaky clean or bone-chilling, I hope your weekend has been fun!


Em-Musing said...

LOve dark stories. My fascination began with Poe, Lovecraft, and then King. They inspired my first novel.

Constance Phillips said...

Happy Halloween to you too, Ayda!
Love Stephen King, and not only for his wonderful stories. He gives such wonderful advice to those of us who want to follow in his gigantic footsteps in On Writing.

Ayda Recknagel said...

Em - Poe is big around my house too. I'd love to hear about your first novel some time.

Connie - I've gotten a lot out of his writing advice too. I also love how hilarious he is!

Thanks for sharing!

Patrice Kavanaugh said...

Hi Ayda,
Great post. I'm not a fan of horror. I don't have the stomach/nerve for it! My "dark" side is enthralled with action/adventure. Like a roller coaster ride where you can scream for the thrill of it, but not out of real terror. I admire Stephen King for his dedication, discipline and success. And his words of wisdom for fellow writers. Happy Hallowe'en!

Life Unordinary said...

what a great group! where can I see as list of y'alls publications?

Ayda Recknagel said...

Patrice - yes, roller coaster rides are more fun, and less likely to give you nightmares, when you look at it that way!

L.U. - Thanks for checking out our website! If you haven't already found them, our published and non-published authors alike have links to their websites on our Members page.

Jennifer Shirk said...

What a perfect post for Halloween!

I dont normally go to the dark side, but I really di enjoy a lot of Stephen King's novels.
I remember my 5th grade teacher reading us Cujo--because we saw it on hr desk and we begged her to read it to us. She did (although she did clean it up for us) and we loved it!
I was a fan from that day on!

Ayda Recknagel said...

Thanks, Jennifer! What a cool 5th grade teacher! That had to be fun to go back to it later and realize she'd cleaned it up for you!