Sunday, August 2, 2009


First of all, I'm significantly older than any of the other EP writers, so I did see a lot of horror movies when they first were issued. I must have been ten or so, with bangs and pigtails, when I saw Frankenstein at a Saturday matinee in my local movie theater in my village of 3000 souls, where I was allowed to go alone, since it was no more than six blocks from where I lived. Some of you might remember the scene where the monster sees a little girl with pigtails tossing flowers into a lake. She's not afraid of him and he watches, looking from the girl to the water, and then an expression crosses his face that to me as a child clearly said he intended to toss the little girl into the lake. The viewer doesn't see him do this in the version I saw, but all the uproar later told me he'd done just that. I watched to the end, then ran all the way home and that night, crawled in bed with my mother. Never lost my taste for scary movies or books, though.
I read Bram Stoker's classic Dracula for the first time as a teenager. Looking back I can see how it affected my vision of vampires as evil. This was reinforced by watching Bela Lugosi in the movie and then seeing Nosufertu. The latter movie contains one of the most scary opening scenes I have ever viewed, all the more so because it is silent. And, of course the vampire is no handsome Bela Lugosi, but is ghastly looking. These first impressions have proved lasting, and I believe this is why I can't accept a vampire as sexy. After all, he's dead--never mind trying to explain undead to me. It's the same as dead as far as I'm concerned and evidently always will be. Any creature who intends to charm me to do things against my own will can never be a hero to me. Though I do write about vampires, they're always the villain.
Werewolves, on the other hand, are alive. Maybe as beasts sometimes, but they can turn back to human. The early Wolfman movies with Lon Chaney, Jr. were scary when he was a wolf-type beast, but he was also human and alive in both guises. So I do love were-beasts and can see them as heroes and heroines. I'm planning a another series around them, but whether I ever get it written is another question, as there are other projects ahead that need to be completed first.When we come to demons and angels, I'm neutral. I'll never write about them--oops. I did have a demon in one of my stories, but he was neither a hero nor a villain, just called up by a sorcerer. But that was on another world, not Earth. I've never written about an angel, though.
Ghosts. Don't believe in them, but enjoy stories about them and do use them in stories. Aliens and alien beasts are also fun and can be heroes as far as I'm concerned, providing they're not too repulsive.
Fairies? I did once write a story about a fairy, And I've also written about humans being transposed into ancient gods and goddesses, with evils from the same time period pursuing them.
Djinns and ghouls? Hey, the Koran says djinns did exist. Whether I believe that or not, they make great heroes. Actually I even wrote a story about a ghoul hero. Of course, the heroine suffered from a disorder since childhood--she had no sense of smell. Hard to get around the fact ghouls stink.
It's all fiction, though, so no matter how you feel about these paranormal creatures, any author is free to choose what she wants the reader to believe can happen and have at it. Which is the great thing about being a writer.
Jane Toombs' EP paranormal stories: "In The River" and "The Sometime Place" in A Twist Of Fate Anthology"
I Holler Oh, Hot Dog" and "It Can't Be Mine!" (my ghoul story) in Twisted Fayrie TalesAnd a novella: "Dance Of The Cedar Cat"

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