As long time readers of this blog may know, it is a bit of a strange mash up. I go from writing about spirituality to brutal serial killers to strange psychological diseases. The genres that chose me might seem no less strange to an outsider looking in. In college I majored in biology, and I love all the sciences; they have a huge influence on how I think, and I believe they are very important to our collective welfare as a species. While I am open to the paranormal, and enjoy writing about it, I do not actively believe in it. Put short, I’m a very rational person (sometimes too much so!). On the other side of the coin, I am a very spiritual person. I am a practicing Buddhist, and I believe in peace, love, and kindness. While I do have a temper, I have never been in a physical fight and I would never deliberately harm someone with my words or actions. But yet I turn around and write about gruesome killers and monsters and battles.
Now, all of that might seem contradictory. And it is, to some extent. At the very least, it is unconventional. I was musing over this topic the other day and came to a couple of conclusions. One reason I write what I do is because I’ve always had morbid fascinations. Ever since I was a kid I’ve been into this stuff. A second is that it acts as kind of a release valve, a way to express more negative emotions in a safe way. But the primary reason I write what I do is the personal quality that led me to both science and Buddhism: curiosity.
I am an avid learner. I want to know as much as I can about this crazy world before I leave it. How we got here, why we are here, and why things are the way they are. Spirituality and science are two ways of knowing that, contrary to popular belief, do not have to be mutually exclusive. One explains why, the other how. You can do both at once–I am living proof of that.
But while that might explain the content of my blog, you might be asking how curiosity has anything to do with writing horror and fantasy. That is because curiosity comes hand in hand with another quality: imagination. The two are inseparable because curiosity inevitably leads you to ask questions about the world around you, and to question in the first place takes imagination. But eventually it takes you further than that–you begin to ask not about what is, but what could be. Could there really be a world where humans can fling fireballs and dragons take wing? If so, what would that be like? Or, what if ghosts were really real? What would be the implications? What if corpses could walk again?
With a head full of questions like that, the next natural progression is to go about answering them. For me that was a combination of reading stories in the fantasy and horror genres, and of course writing my own stories. Really, writing fiction is an act of discovery, another way that the human mind strives to understand both the world without and the world within. Careful though. This way, there be monsters.