29 October 2006

Sneak Peek!

I'm so damn The current mood of augustdreams at www.imood.com

Okay. You'll notice there's going to be a bit of a time warp (It's just a jump to the left...) here at Augustdreams until I have time to finish doing Halloween-themed entries and finish the last two parts of the comic. So until further notice it'll be October 'round these here parts.

My book is 150+ pages and running and I want to share a sneak peek at the prologue with you guys. It's really the only bit short enough to copy & paste here. Hope you like it and Happy Hauntings!

Hip to be Scared

The history of horror does not begin with images flickering across a haunted screen. It began long before we modern folk were on the scene, and it will continue long after we're so many dusty names carved in stone. It began with fear. Fear is the stock and trade of the horror game. We seek to experience it, to feel that rush of adrenaline while knowing all the while that we're not really in any true danger. If we avoided what we fear, the horror genre would not have remained so popular from the moment the first ghost story was whispered across a dying fire. There is evidence, even in cave paintings, that our desire to face our fears has been with us since the very beginning.

Horror reaches inside us in ways that other genres can't, touches us in places where we're small and vulnerable. It reminds us of our mortality, yet at the same time makes us feel alive. It makes us brave. Wes Craven said once that horror films are boot camp for the psyche. When we sit down to watch a film like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre or A Nightmare on Elm Street, we're reacting to someone who has thrown down the cinematic gauntlet. We're putting ourselves in the hands of someone who is going to try to scare us, to disturb us. And we're willing to go along for the ride. To let these madmen (and, increasingly, madwomen) lead us where they will, and see if we can emerge, perhaps a little braver and stronger, on the other side.

I've been drawn to horror films since I was 8 years old and The Omen was playing on an old tv at a slumber party. At the time, I didn't quite understand what I was seeing. I knew that bad things were happening on that 13 inch screen. Things I wasn't supposed to see. But while my first instinct was to cover my eyes, my second was to peek between my fingers. What I saw scared me into a fear of the dark that lasted for years. But it also made a lasting impression, and gave me an urge to confront the terror that stalked me that night through the screen, to make friends with the monsters.

Now, more than twenty years later, I return as a veteran survivor of hundreds of horror films, to shine a light into the dark corners of that night. To try and discover what it is about horror movies that draws and repels us at the same time. To discover what this thoroughly unique genre that reflects our fears says about us as a society, as a culture and as individuals.

So grab your popcorn and turn off all the lights. The Spookshow is about to begin.

Time to crawl into my casket. Happy Halloween and thanks for reading.

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