The Closed Door

H. P Lovecraft once said “The strongest emotion is that of fear, and mankind’s greatest fear is that of the unknown.” I was reminded of this just this morning as my wife was getting ready for work. Max, our 110 pound Yellow Lab was sitting at my feet begging for attention as I sipped my coffee. The bedroom door clicked as she opened it and Max spun around to wait and watch, perfectly still, until he was sure of who was emerging from behind the closed door. Once he realized it was my wife his tail started wagging and my wife asked him who he thought might be coming out of the room. It struck me then that to Max, who is not allowed in the bedroom, he had no idea who might be coming through that door. I knew the only one who would be coming through that door would be my wife. But for Max what lies beyond that closed door is the unknown.

This got me to thinking about the closed door metaphor and how it’s used in horror fiction. For me the best closed door scene was in Stephen King’s THE SHINING when Danny is told to stay out of room 237, but goes in anyway, and discovers the dead woman in the tub. When he tries to run away he finds the door locked and now he’s trapped inside with a dead woman who’s coming to get him. One of the most chilling scenes I’ve ever read.

I believe that’s what makes horror so appealing. The character is warned. Don’t go in there, or don’t open that box, or don’t look. Yet they choose to ignore the warning and  what happens after can leave a lasting impression on the reader.

Just an update

It's been nearly three months since the release of my novel Shadows of the Past and one important lesson I've learned so far is it's a lot of hard work to market oneself. Especially if you're as modest as I am.  When it first came out I was positing daily about my book anywhere I could get away with it. But as time has progressed I've found myself stepping back to regroup and refocus my marketing efforts. I figure I'm in this for the long run, as one writer said on facebook, it's a marathon, not a sprint.

Shadows of the Past has gotten a couple of very nice reviews. One from Charlene Gamble at Literary RandR . Thank  you Charlene. The other from Colleen Wanglund at Horror Fiction Review.  Thank you Colleen.

Both reviews mentioned a sequel and I've decided to do just that. After I've completed my current works in progress I'll start work on the sequel to Shadows of the Past.

When I initially published my novel my intent was to give it away as an introduction to my writing, to get my name out there in preparation for the release of my future work. I made the mistake of signing up for the Amazon KDP select program which has kept me from doing what I wanted.  And truth be told I thought, why not make a few bucks off of my hard work it as well. My enrollment will soon expire and I will release Shadows of the Past through Smashwords as a totally free download.

Work is progressing on Reprisal, I'm averaging five hundred to a thousand words per day on the sub-plots that will flesh out the story. The central story is done and the ending has been completed. I've also recently finished the first draft of my novella Enter Night, and I'm letting it rest for a bit before I go back and start the rewrite process.

What project are you working on now?