I’m late, I’m late, for a very important date… with Brewin’ and all the other Coffin Hoppers! Promised the man a guest post, I did, and then took my sweet time getting it out there. Bad Murphy, bad! Without further ado, I’ll let the man himself take over… put your paws, claws, or whatever ya got together for Brewin’!
Hi there Coffin Hoppers. L.M. Murphy has been kind enough to invite me onto her blog for Coffin Hop 2012 to talk about topics on horror and fear ahead of Hallow’s Eve… So here goes:
I think it’s an interesting aspect of the human psyche that things pertaining to horror and fear have a special attraction: which for me has been a lifelong fascination. There is something about being able to immerse yourself in a story where things are dark/horrible/negative that appeals, and I still don’t think I really understand the psychological mechanisms that cause this…
Others can struggle to understand why “someone would want to read/watch horror” too. For instance, my well-meaning sister (and some of her friends) are much enamoured of “New Age Fiction”, of talking about love, light and happiness (and faeries, rainbows and unicorns), and she struggles to understand why I would want to read, watch and write material that deals with death, insanity and malevolent entities that only mean to do harm. My short answer to her was that this was more interesting to me than “crystals and rainbows”, but I don’t think she really understands what I meant, or why horror is so popular as a genre, almost as if she perceives it as a symptom of the “sickness of society”.
But let me put a different spin on it (and I know I’m probably preaching to the converted here but anyway):
You could read one of two stories. One is a tale set in a peaceful world, where everyone is happy, there is no conflict, and everyone gets exactly what they want and ends up happily ever after. The other is set in a world of conflict, where people struggle to survive or overcome adversity, where success is not only not guaranteed but is downright unlikely, a world that no-one would really “choose” to exist in for the terrors it holds.
Now I dunno about you (but I can guess) but the later story sounds far more interesting to me. And it’s analogous (to me) to thrill-seeking, to seeking challenge and adventure, and to exploring those things secret, forbidden and “dangerous”.
Or to put it another way. Imagine two YouTube videos: One is called “Man comes home to deliver flowers to his wife and embrace her in love and joy.” The other is called “Man comes home to deliver pile of dog-shit to his horrified wife and gets slapped.”
Do you see where I’m going with this? Those things negative have a strange magnetism: the whiff of controversy, of shock, and even of humour (often at the expense of someone else) has appeal for many of us, and I’d argue most of us.
So leave the love, light and joy for life itself. Escape to fantastical worlds of darkness, terror and conflict instead… Just sayin’. 🙂
I would just like to say that if my guy brought home a pile of dog shit, he’d get a heck of a lot more than a slap. Though my reaction to that may be more horrifying to the males in our group… sensitive areas and all… but anyways! Thanks, Brewin’, for the post, and, oh yeah, for letting me give away a copy of your book! Curious about it? Here, have a book trailer.
As for Brewin’ himself? Here he is in his own words.
Brewin’ (with or without the apostrophe) is the pseudonym of Andrew Drage. He graduated in 1998 with a first-class degree from La Trobe University, majoring in zoology, philosophy and statistics. He has worked as a Senior Research Scientist at the Insectarium of Victoria in his native Australia, publishing on ant behaviour and sampling methodologies.
His debut novel, Evermore: An Introduction, was published to critical acclaim in 2001, and has been republished twice since. The Dark Horde is his second fiction novel, a supernatural horror/thriller published for the first time in 2012. Based in Melbourne, he is also a respected IT developer and analyst, and has been editor and designer for the first four books of the highly acclaimed Gamebook Adventures interactive fiction series. This role has culminated in the creation of his own work, Gamebook Adventures: Infinite Universe, released in 2012 on the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad, and nominated for Best Game Writing in the Freeplay 2012 Independent Game Awards. For the curious, find more of Brewin’ at his website and on Facebook.
Be sure to comment to be entered for a shot at winning a copy of one of Brewin’s novels—and as before, if you follow both myself and Brewin’ on Twitter, you get an extra entry. While you’re at it, scroll back through my posts and you’ll find more things to enter!
Oh, and on the off chance that you miss hearing from little ol’ me, I’m featured at Erik Gustafson’s blog today. Go! Comment! Maybe I’ll give you something totally free!
As always, happy Hopping!