Monsters are everywhere by Jennifer Hudock


I write horror and dark fantasy fiction, and have done so most of my life. There’s something about exploring spooks and ghouls that appeases my writerly soul, but in most instances I am more satisfied if the horror aspect of my work hits my readers in the gut on a more personal level.

Fear is a very real aspect of everyday life, whether it be irrational anxiety and stress, or a lifelong extension of that childhood fear of the dark. The thing is, we all understand fear and can easily relate to that tingling feeling at the nape of our neck when something is amiss. Our triggers might be different, and our reactions may vary, but the overall essence of personal fear is something we can all relate to.

Finding inspiration for horror fiction is a lot easier than you might think, but I think your mind has to be geared to perceive life itself through a horrific lens. I tend to find ideas for stories in the most bizarre places. For example, I live out in the countryside, but a major stretch of highway runs along the rural road. Last summer, while walking my dog every day, I started to notice a lot of broken down cars that would sit on the side of the highway for a day or two, and then disappear. When I say a lot, I mean, like three to four cars a week, which in my area was pretty unusual.

Every day, I’d walk by these cars and see the doors hanging open, maybe a towel hanging out the back door, a shoe tumbling onto the roadside–the lace stuck in the door, and my overactive imagination started to run. Living in the country, I saw images of these rogue farm girls pretending to have car trouble in the middle of the night to get drivers to pull over. Then they whacked them with a tire iron, left their cars on the side of the road, then took them home to torture them before chopping them up and feeding them to their mama’s pigs. Obviously, my imagination is a very creepy place, but I digress.

I don’t know. Maybe as horror authors, we suffer from paranoia and post traumatic stress disorder, but it’s a gift we need to draw on in order to keep the genre fresh.

Monsters are everywhere. You could turn your evil boss into a cave dwelling troll, or portray your nasty ex-mother-in-law as a soul-sucking demon. Just let your imagination run wild over every day scenarios and twist those things into something that will not just shock your readers, but alter their perspective about the mundane.

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