I got a book today! Woo! It’s a re-release of a book that had a big impact on my life more than 25 years ago. I wrote about it here, if you wanted to read about it. What book, you ask? The Stranger Beside Me, by Ann Rule. It’s an updated version with new pictures and all that, I haven’t read it yet but I’m looking forward to it. And I remembered a conversation I had with my husband a few days ago.
We were talking about the genre of horror fiction, because that’s what he’s aiming to do. (You can check out some of his fiction stuff over on his fiction blog – hurry, before he takes it down!) I have always maintained that I never read horror, refuse to watch horror movies, am not in the least interested in horror in general, period. Yes, I’ve been pretty snooty about it. I admit it. However, I love the stuff my husband writes. I think part of me hasn’t really considered it to be horror, since it’s not the slash ‘em up gory kind of horror – which I absolutely will not watch or read. He writes more scary, psychological kind of stuff, the kind of stories that make you look under the bed before you go to sleep. The horror genre is much broader than I realized. Anyway, at some point during our conversation, I had sort of an epiphany. I realized that I am a horror addict of a different stripe, and addicted big time.
I love true crime stories.
I read true crime books a lot, I watch true crime shows on TV, until I’ve seen the same episodes so many times I can almost recite them. I remember weird facts about true crime events that have taken place. I’ve always been particularly fascinated with serial killers, which is what that post is about that I linked to above. It was during that conversation with my husband, when I made the offhand remark that I didn’t think werewolf and vampire type stories were scary, because they aren’t real, like serial killers are. I’ll never encounter a werewolf, no matter how many English moors I traipse across, but a serial killer could conceivably live across the street. Now that’s scary. That’s when I realized I’ve been a horror fan for years, because what’s more horrifying than the real killer who stalks and kills you? The one you never suspect, like a deacon in your church, or the cable guy who comes to fix your cable, or the guy with the broken arm who asks if you can help him load the groceries into his car. Real life is scary, and despite the fact that we tell our children that there aren’t any monsters under the bed, it doesn’t mean they don’t live down the street. The real monsters out there aren’t hairy beasts or aliens; they are our neighbors and sometimes friends and family members, those we least suspect and most trust. That, to me, is true horror. And I’ve been fascinated with it for years. Matter of fact, I know when it started.
cross-posted at the Writers Nesst