Each Monday will bring a different horror… to help you cope with the horror that is Monday with the horrors that are in the fantasy world.
Horror for Today: Psychological Horror! Horror at its scariest.
An accident puts Kevin Tremmel into a coma. Upon waking, he is not the same. Is it psychological trauma or something darker at work? Until recently, Kevin Tremmel was at peace with his life. He had a wonderful family, a meaningful career, and his life is finally settling down. Everything seems to be going great – until the night he dies in a car accident. When the doctors revive him, it’s evident that he’s not the same. Strange urges and images haunt his waking hours, and he finds himself fighting frightening new impulses. Has the trauma of the accident caused a mental illness — or has he brought some malevolent being back with him?
In order to save his sanity, his sense of self, and his family, Kevin must discover what force is at work on him and how to overcome it. That or give up all he loves and become a servant to the things in the darkness.
Those Who Inspire Me
By Ira M. Gansler, author of The Things in the Darkness
In my humble opinion, any good horror writer should grow up reading horror. There are a couple of reasons for this. The first is that it’s good to see what has been done before in order to decide what you feel works and what doesn’t. While you never want to copy someone else’s style, you may find pieces that do work well to integrate into your own unique writing. A major influence for me is the writing of Stephen King. While King has crafted some amazing and disturbing stories, it is not the monsters, ghosts, or killers that I find to be his greatest strength. For me, King is as great as he is because he gives us characters that are so well written that they seem like someone we have known our whole life. Then, just as we are becoming comfortable with the people in the story, he shows us that no one is safe. Growing up reading King inspired me to write character-driven stories. It’s one great reason why all good writers should read. Another reason is that whole stories can be inspired by just small pieces or themes of other stories.
Sometimes the influence is more direct and obvious in the finished product. Although my book just came out, I have been told many times that it is very Lovecraftian in nature (and in case you are wondering, I take that as a compliment). Lovecraft’s main themes have always fascinated me and made me wonder what is really the greatest threat that a person can face? Are outside forces, perhaps alien or perhaps supernatural, the biggest things that man should fear? Do we even need to look outside of ourselves to find the things that we truly should be afraid of more than anything else? Maybe the biggest question that I always thought Lovecraft raised was simply: is it worse to lose your life or your mind? These are all ideas that I tried to explore with The Things in the Darkness.
I hope this has been informative and interesting to you, my intrigued reader. Now go ahead and turn off the lights, and make your way throughout the rest of your day. And when you reach the moment when you are putting your head down to sleep, don’t worry too much about that shape in the corner of your room. You may find yourself asking, “is that a living grotesquerie or just some figment of my overworked, perhaps diminishing mind?” No, don’t worry too much about it, my friend. In the end, does it really matter what it is as much as what it has planned for you?
This starts a little slow for me. Well, the first chapter is amazing and I really liked that it left me really curious.
If one were to ignore the source of the bleeding from the gash at the top of her head to its progression past her eye, the trail the blood made down her face would almost look like a tear.
Same chapter a few paragraphs later:
He looked over his work again and realized the problem. The cuts were too neat. The slices were too intricate and intentional to truly represent the chaos that ruined promised hope.
As I’m sure you can see this starts with a bang. The very next chapter and quite a few chapters after that slow way, way down. At least on the horror. I think the idea was to really give an impression of who the main couple is. The ins and outs of their daily lives. Without that I’m sure it would be more difficult to understand just how tragic this is.
Unique Chapter Titles!
I love chapter titles. Especially if they help to distinguish a chapter from the next. These chapter titles really did give me a sense of what to expect which I appreciate.
The Calm Before The Storm
Dancing through time
Quite a bit of back and forth. I’m not sure if it would have resonated better with me had it been completely linear. At about 60% or so I really started understanding why Ira did the flashbacks but they are just not my favorite. It did help to understand some of the more gruesome chapters. Because of those chapter titles I was easily able to discern where the story was.
I had some ups and downs with this one. Most of it was pretty good though! I loved how intruiged I was even in the chapter that I thought were a bit slower. It wasn’t that they were slow necessarily, just about the people in the story and the idea behind everything. I wanted to understand what was happening and why. The ending also matched quite well and once everything started really coming together I was really enjoying myself.
There are some horrific moments but it certainly isn’t the entire book. If you are not a horror fan you should be able to enjoy the people in this and their stories. For those that enjoy horror there is just enough to keep your mouth watering or in some cases to make you want to throw up! Awesome!! Some moments are definitely not suitable for younger teens!
Everyone needed to feed the crocodiles in their subconscious from time to time?
Horror Meter: 3/5
Shock Factor: 4/5
Total Scare: 3.8/5