October - The Beginning of Fall and the Arrival of ...

From the writing desk of Christine Mazurk

With Fall comes a crispness to the air, an abundance of color to the trees, as well as ghosts, goblins, and monsters, oh my. October, a month that brings horror to the stage. Whether in movies or books, the focus on zombies and flesh eating creatures takes the spotlight. Sure, horror is a year round thing, but who doesn't get sucked in as Halloween approaches?

I have to admit, I'm kind of a wimp when it comes to scary movies, but give me a Stephen King or Dean Koontz novel and I'm in. I wondered about that in my teenage years, why a book but not a movie? Then I realized I was seven when I closed my eyes, dreading what was on the screen.

My parents took me and my brother to a party one night. We were told to go play with the other kids in another room. I happened to be the youngest in the bunch, so I didn't have any say in what we did. One of the older boys decided we'd watch The Twilight Zone. I had no clue what that was, thinking stars, planets, and happy futuristic tales. Boy was I wrong.

It was the episode where the fishermen catch the mermaid ... well, let me tell you, I had nightmares for months! I found that the visual plus my imagination spelled bad, bad dreams, so I shied away from most scary movies. There were a few I could tolerate over the years: The Shining, Psycho, Carrie, and Poltergeist, but Halloween, The Chain Saw Massacre, no way.

Books were different. Without the visual scenes, my imagination could go as far as it wanted without crossing into 'things are going to get me in the middle of the night'. I learned I could paint pictures in my mind that were mild compared to what hit the screen. I guess that's why I became a writer. I could paint the pictures I wanted to with my own words.

I don't write horror, but that doesn't mean I don't like to read it. If I had to pick a favorite author in that genre, I'd have to say Dean Koontz. His stories keep me on the edge of my seat, but I find I really care about his main characters. Everyday humans most of us can relate to who are thrown into bad situations. Many need to make decisions that could save a life while ending another. Think about that. What would you do if faced with that kind of decision? Could you sacrifice one over another?

My favorites have to be the Odd Thomas Series, though I've enjoyed all of his single titles. There's gore, blood, and death, but there is also the underlying compassion and empathy in every story. He sucks you in and makes you wonder how you would react if faced with certain situations in this world and the next.

I now have a thirst to pick up the next Dean Koontz. Deeply Odd is sitting on my TBR (to be read) pile, so I bid you an awesome October as I pour myself another cup of coffee and turn to the first page.

Until next time, Hugs - Christine

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