OoOooOoo Today is Part Seven of our Halloween Spooktacular Giveaway!!! Today we have a guest post by Inara Scott, author of Delcroix Academy: The Candidates. Enjoy!
By Inara Scott
I have a confession to make: Halloween scares the pants off me.
Or, to put it another way, I am a fraidy-cat of epic proportions.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the holiday. Costumes, candy, pumpkins? I say, bring it on. But the rest of it – the scary movies, haunted houses, and ghost stories? Dark nights, spooky music, and witches?
Sorry. I can’t handle any of it.
I think the root cause is this simple problem: I can’t separate real life and make believe. Put me in a corn maze and send a guy with a scythe after me, and I’ll have a heart attack. Seriously. As far as my heart is concerned, he might as well be an honest-to-goodness serial killer.
(Okay, in all fairness, I’ve never encountered a real serial killer, so I can’t be sure that there isn’t some additional level of panic that might ensue.)
Books do the same thing. I start reading a scary story and the world becomes a dark and terrifying place. When I was reading Maggie Steifvater’s Shiver (not exactly a tale of horror, I know), I had intense nightmares about being torn apart by wolves. It was horrible. I could barely finish the book.
Unfortunately, the same principal applies with sad stories. Read a book or movie in which someone’s loved one dies? Forget it. The emotional agony of the story is too strong. No, it obviously isn’t the same as losing my own family, but it makes me IMAGINE losing my own family, and then I experience an emotion that is completely and utterly wretched. Not fun in the least. Definitely not something I’m going to experience willingly.
Because I know this about myself, I channel my reading accordingly. I tried to read The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak, and gave up quickly. Fantastic, life-changing book, and I couldn’t get past page 50. I could see what lay ahead and it was long and painful. Too much for me. But Zusak’s lesser known book, I am the Messenger is one of my all time favorites. Less straight on Nazi death camps and more subtle, life-affirming moments. Perfect.
I like to think this is a strength for me as an author, because my lived experience of make-believe emotions makes for great writing. Unfortunately, it also presents a significant challenge. When I torture my characters (a job qualification for being a writer) I have to experience their pain. When I wrote a novel in which a woman’s mother died, I sobbed for days. I cried the whole time I was writing. Embarrassing when you’re at Starbucks, let me tell you.
But torture I must. It’s my job. I steel myself emotionally and do the dirty work. But when I’m reading for pleasure, it’s not going to be The Kite Runner. Sorry. I’m headed straight for happily ever after.
So this Halloween I’ll be bobbing for apples, walking around the hay maze (in the bright sunlight, thanks!), and drinking lots of pumpkin lattes. But I won’t be watching Nightmare on Elm Street.
What about you? Fraidy-cat like me, or do you actually enjoy being scared?
Thank you Inara for taking the time to share some thoughts with us! I think that I am definitely a Fraidy-cat!
For more information on Inara Scott and her book check out the following Links:
Inara Scott was kind enough to supply us with four Delcroix Academy Notebooks.
Good Choice Reading and Once Upon a Twilight will be giving away A copy of The Candidates and Two Notebooks. Two Different blogs, Two Different giveaways!
That makes SIX WINNERS!
* Must be a follower of both blogs - Good Choice Reading and Once Upon a Twilight* Must fill out this FORM
Remember: You have to Fill out the form at Once Upon a Twilight to double your chances. :0)