From the Mind of Master Imaginationist Crystal Connor ~"A Trusted Name in Terror."

The Darkness, Artificial Light, In The Valley of Shadows

Sunday, November 4, 2012

We've been here before.

A few hours ago a blogger asked me, “How does a non-horror writer like you write such scary stories?” I’m asked this question often. I see people struggling to categorize my genre of writing when they leave reviews and I even had a reviewer send me an email telling me that I was NOT a horror writer ( This baffles me. I categorize myself as a horror writer; my only goal when I pick up my pen is to scare the shit of someone, but with my latest release the debate and confusion begins anew.

To get to the bottom of this I think maybe I should try and understand what the immediate “gut reaction” to the word horror means to most people. Because we’ve been thoroughly so inundated with the images of the masked man with a knife, the family with the chainsaw, people dangling from & trapped inside every know entrapment of torture know to man, with our cups runnething over with so much blood and gore that I think that a lot of people think believe horror can’t be horror if these elements are not included.

I saw this movie with my BFF Kathi, and there is nothing remotely whatsoever horrific or thrilling about this movie. It a love story and a tear-jerker, but I super duper love this fan trailer because it’s a perfect example on how mood, atmosphere, and timing can turn the most mundane thing into something scary.

I don’t its necessary for horror to have tons of gore or jump scares for it to be scary, in my opinion when a movie has over the top, gratuitous scenes of violence and tidal waves of blood it stops being effective and becomes nothing more that cheap parlor tricks in attempts to mask the fact that the book/movie is lacking a strong plot or compelling story line.

Not everything that goes bump in the night carries an axe, not all monsters hide under the bed, and sometimes the closest you are to damnation is when your in the presence of innocence.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Gut punched, then kicked when I was down =(

One reoccurring compliment and honorable mention in reviews that I receive is how diverse the cast of characters are in my stories. This is something that I don’t set out to do when I sit down to write a story, my very 1st priority when I pick up my pen is to scare the heebie jeebies out of my readers or at the very least make people uncomfortable. All my stories would still be scary if everyone was white and straight.

My stories are multiculture because that’s the world I’ve always lived in. I grew up on a US military installation where having a black mom and a white dad, or a white dad or Asian mom was normal. My mom had gay friends, I have gays friends and while serving my country I practically travelled all over the world. I was born in Washington and live in Seattle which has a pretty diverse population.

I got an email today from a reader who vows never to read anything from me again. After just reading three stories in my anthology and after the conclusion of Best Friends Forever, which tells what happens when a relationship deteriorates in the most frightening way. A relationship which just happens to be between two women.

She explicatively demanded to know if I wasn’t going to bother explaining the hardships and challenges of the LGBT community then why use them in my work and furiously accused me of using LGBT characters as tokens and explained in great detail how deplorable and crass she found it coming from an African American writer who should know better. She advised me that she would be returning the book to Amazon for a full refund.

I’m completely stunned, I’m confused and probably not done crying. I’m not sure what else I was supposed to do. Finding yourself in a war of the roses situation after initiating a breaking up and then finding out your ex is Psycho Suzy would be hard for anyone, gay, straight, black or white to deal with. In this story the couple just happened to be same sex.

I’m just not sure what else I was supposed to do