Where do I begin? I could copy and paste the “About Me” section from one of the dozen or so dating site profiles I’ve accumulated in my quest for love, but that might be a bit tacky… I could try and tell you about all of the myriad little things that make me who I am, but they are just words… like all of this is, really. I guess we’ll start with the basics. I’m a human being. Caucasian. Female. I was born on October 7th, 1983… 3 weeks premature because my mother fell and broke her leg, and back in the dark ages of baby birthin’ there was concern that I might’ve been damaged, so they took me early, otherwise I might’ve been born on Halloween, which was my projected due date. My mother thought I was going to be a boy, and as such she had planned on naming me Edgar after Edgar Allan Poe, so I guess you could say I had a bit of a head start on the whole horror writer deal.
So at any rate, I was born and then I grew up. Somewhere along the way I picked up a copy of Inherit The Stars by James P. Hogan. Apart from being a good read in it’s own right (Despite the fact that my little 5 year old brain, though eager, did not understand many of the concepts introduced to me in that book. I recall spending hours deciphering it with both a dictionary and a large collection of encyclopedias (Both the classic Encyclopedia Britannica and my mother’s well-loved set of Man, Myth, and Magic (which I’d love to own a set of, in case anyone is looking for gift ideas…)) was also the first grown up book I’d ever laid my hands on. I felt like some sort of archaeologist, or maybe anthropologist… studying a new civilization. I don’t claim to have understood everything, even after thorough research, but that little adventure one summer in my fifth year spawned in me a love of reading, and subsequently, a love of writing.
From the time I was a small child, I was in awe of the concept of infinity, the vastness of the universe which hums and swirls and bleeds around us every day, and since then it has always been my dream to tack a little piece of that great vast infinite wonder down and claim it for my own, put my name on the cover of a book for all to see, maybe donate it to a few libraries and start some starry eyed little girl somewhere on a journey of her own.
Now you may be asking “Ok, sure, that explains the writing… but what about the horror?” Well, I’ll tell you about that… By the time I picked up my father’s copy of Inherit The Stars (which, incidentally, I picked up in the first place DUE to my love of horror… you see, there is a skeleton in a space suit on the cover and my young brain associated skeletons with scary in my naivete) I was already quite the little horror hound. I’d seen The Company Of Wolves starring Angela Lansbury around age 3 or 4, thanks to my busy mother, who somehow got the idea that it was a children’s movie and didn’t realize her mistake until I had watched most of the film with my baby brother, and at that point I guess she figured the damage had already been done. That started my love of all things dark and depraved. It wasn’t long before I was begging for more, so relentlessly in fact that my mother eventually caved and allowed me to dig through my father’s VHS collection (after removing (Most of) the porn) where I unearthed such treasures as Werewolves on Rollerskates, The Crucible of Terror, The Screaming Skull, Tombs of the Blind Dead, and The Pit and the Pendulum, which I later tied back to my mother’s Edgar Allan Poe love when she gave me a leather bound compendium for my 7th birthday. From there my love of Vincent Price grew (This was right around the time Thriller was big, and recognizing his voice combined with an adoration of the video in general is credited with spawning my zombielove) and I continued to explore as much of the genre as I could, delving into Hitchcock, Fulci, Argento on the film side things and Poe, Shelley, William Hope Hodgson (My copy of The Night Land is one of the few things saved from my childhood) George R. R. Martin, Ramsey Campbell, and of course, Stephen King on the printed side.
Two of the most influential writings for me were Ackermanthology! (although that didn’t come along until my early teenage years) and the Borderlands series, which is what really cemented into my head the desire to be a writer myself. How I poured over those introductions by the fantastic Thomas F. Monteleone, the ones in which he spoke of the joys of discovering new talent, and how I day dreamed about one day BEING the talent he was to discover!
It wasn’t long before I wrote my very first story, which was, of course, horror. I do believe there were other, more simple stories before that, but Kids In A Candy Shop was the first solid, concrete piece of horror fiction I penned, at the ripe old age of 9. It was submitted to a local literary fair and went on to receive 2 awards at the state level. I was very proud, and I continued to write whenever and whatever I could. At age 14, I began pursuing my career as a writer in earnest. I submitted everything I could put to paper to literary fairs and sites such as Quantum Muse. I compiled all of my short stories (Some of which I still have copies of, and might just show you if you ask very nicely) into a collection I titled Noir and, taking a deep breath and throwing caution to the wind… I began submitting it to publishers.
I was very naive; I knew nothing of agents or editing, or anything, really. I was just a kid with a dream, and it showed in the volume of rejection letters I received.
During that time, but for other reasons, my life was in a state of upheaval… what teenager’s isn’t? And eventually my passion for writing was overcome by the fact that I was growing up and thus I had things like working (2 awful jobs!) and going to school full time on my plate. My love of writing never died, really, it just sort of faded into the background, which is something I will always regret allowing to happen. But what’s done is done and all I can do now is look forward, to a future which will hopefully include something in print with my name on it. Wish me luck!