Welcome to the annual October Frights Blog Hop! A bunch of us horror and spooky authors invite you to follow along on our blogs, join in on the Halloween fun and maybe pick up a prize or two. We'll have freebies, spooky stories, lots of good horrific fun and more!
I'll be focusing on a variety of topics here on the blog, including a monstrous reading list for October! Be sure to check out the blog list at the end of each post, plus the freebie links and a little monstrous gift for you! Happy Haunting!
When Fantasy Meets the Dark Side
By Christine (C.A.) Verstraete
The word fantasy often conjures up images of fairies, swords, wizards, and tales in different dimensions. But like any genre, there also is a dark side.
Mention dark fantasy and the images change to blood, vampires, surreal creatures, and the dark of night. Monsters. Oh, and of course, zombies. They’re the creatures that not only lurk in the night ready to suck out your soul, but they stalk you by day in search of your flesh, too. And as gruesome as they can be, zombies make the perfect villains—they’re the things we fear; the monsters that come at you without end. They’re the stuff of nightmares.
Monsters can also be the perfect solution to an unsolved crime as I offer in my novel, Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter. As horrific as the real-life crime is, it’s still hard to imagine a woman so heartless and selfish that she could hack her own father and stepmother to death with a hatchet as she was accused of doing on August 4, 1892.
While the jury, for various reasons, declared her not guilty of the crime in June 1893, once I studied the autopsy reports and photos, I knew I’d found the perfect fictional reason as to why the spinster/Sunday School teacher could have committed such a terrible crime. It made perfect sense… if her father and stepmother had turned into zombies.
Time, of course, determines how you approach a crime. As this year marks the 126th anniversary of the murders, the crime is distant enough to be part of history. Fantasy also allows you to insert monsters into a story. Monsters actually make sense since nothing can be a horrible as real life. They can be vanquished, but the human soul has a darkness that often can’t be cleansed.
And since monsters aren’t real, it’s up to the author to provide a reason as to why they would be there, as in Lizzie Borden’s story. In Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter, Lizzie becomes a kind of dark heroine who kills, but for a reason—to save her sister, and her city, from the evil her father might have had a role in.
Admittedly, writing about a killer, any killer, is not for the squeamish, though having grown up reading about Chicago’s gangsters and the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre must’ve softened me to it early on.
But I know I’m not alone. Crime fascinates, judging from the various crime shows, movies, documentaries, and the endless true crime novels. The unknown, the wondering how someone could ever do such a thing, draws us in. It’s the struggle to understand how and why that seemingly nice man—or woman—next door could do the most horrible of things--kill.
That’s the clue to writing dark fantasy, I think. It’s taking someone we thought we knew… and giving them a reason for their evil by inserting another evil into their story, like monsters or zombies. In Lizzie’s case, it’s enough of a reason to make her almost sympathetic, even if in real life, she would be the most pathetic of people if she was indeed guilty—someone who killed for the oldest of reasons: greed and money. The jury is still out on that.
** Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter Kindle SALE! Grab it quick at 99 cents. And it'll be $1.99 next week thru Halloween!
* Visit and join the October Frights FB group.
** CONGRATS to winner Amy W. who's been notified. Thanks for entering! **
** MY GIVEAWAY - win a print copy of Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter or Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter 2: The Axe Will Fall, and a copy of The Haunting of Dr. Bowen, plus this cool skull bracelet! (US shipping only, sorry! International readers - pick 2 of the Kindle books.) One winner only - must sign-up for newsletter at top-center column of my website to enter. Add email in entry to be verified and to contact you. (Ends 10/20/18)
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* Visit the other October Frights Blogs - prizes & more!!