Thursday, July 23, 2015

What we fear

Fear is one of those emotions that we all give refuge to within ourselves. To say that we do not fear anything would be completely false. We are all scared of something or the other and sometimes we let ourselves give in and let it engulf us.
The only way to challenge fear and overcome it is to face that intimidating emotion and accept that we are scared. After all, courage is when we face our fears, not the absence of it.

It is difficult to write in the horror genre, actually it is a challenge for the writer to work on such a story because what one person is afraid of, another may not be and therein lies the dilemma. Should the writer incorporate his or her fear into the story or find something that most people are afraid of.
Fear of the dark, phobia of spiders, clowns, etc.... The list is endless. To pick one and write a whole story around it is risky for the only reason that not everyone, including the reader may share the same fears. If I write a story on a spooky and cacophonous sounding clown, many would find hilarity rather than fright while reading such a story. And to be honest I've never feared clowns so to write such a story with conviction would be nearly impossible for me.

So what is it that a lot of people are afraid of? The truth.

That is the one thing that not many of us want to face and sometimes we fear it because then we would learn things that would subject us to emotional trauma. And sometimes the truth we learn is about ourselves and that is the hardest part of all - to find qualities that we must either learn to appreciate and enhance or change and reform ourselves.

My new book 'Horror Night' deals with such a complexity of emotions. The four characters I've created are thrown into a situation that requires them to show bravery and face their fears. What they must do to escape is what I've enjoyed writing in quite a long time. It was challenging for me to work on a story where the characters barely know each other, yet work as a team and in a twist (yes, almost all of my stories have a twist) find out how much they have in common.

So here it is, my new ebook 'Horror Night' now available and published by Club Lighthouse Publishing. It's also on sale for a limited time only! You can view it here.

Happy Reading :)

Friday, May 22, 2015

Superheroes

Remember when superhero movies used to be all about good always triumphing over evil? Sure the hero would face some conflicts of his own but the minute he donned on his superhero costume, all of it would be sorted out along with the criminal activity in his hometown. The pictures had so much color and the theme would be constant and light. The audience were assured that even though the hero was going through some trying times in the first half, as soon as he got his powers, everything would be fine and the climax would have a mind blowing action scene where the whole city would finally hail the previoulsy misunderstood hero. That was the fun quotient in watching these superhero flicks- that it made us feel safe knowing that there will always be an end to evil. However, in recent years, superhero movie have just not been as comforting. The real world is in a state of turmoil. There are wars, earthquakes and mindless killing of innocents by maniacs. At this trying time, when we seek solace through movies and try to convince ourselves that one day "good' will overtake all evil, we are presented with movies that do little to put our minds at ease. Fiction has never entirely been fiction. The audience only accepts a fictional work if they can believably relate to it. That means a lot of work is put on by the writer to mould their characters into people the audience can without hesitation say: " hey I know these kind of guys. My friend/relative/neighbor is exactly like that. This works when creating a normal character sans any supernatural power. But superheroes are superheroes. They are supposed to live extraordinary lives and as they fight off their enemies in the dark and in disguise, their personal lives are without any emotional dents. Their friends and families wonder where they are when they're supposed to be spending time with them, but that is just a trivial scene a writer will add to give their heroes a little depth- a hero's life beyond their superhero duties. That cannot be said of the superhero movies and shows that have been released recently. The heroes live depressing lives and they have to constantly struggle to keep any relationship afloat be it their family, friends or girlfriends/boyfriends. They face injustice in their true personas and try to fend off evil once they wear their dark costumes and search for their enemies. Do they always win? They do not and somehow that is just so depressing because if a superhero cannot stand in the face of adversity then what chance do we normal folks have? It was while I was watching a multi superheroes movie and saw all the devastation being caused by the antagonist that I was caught up in my own thoughts and wondered if the world could be truly saved by there superheroes. Onscreen, in their skintight uniforms and distinguished weaponries they do look like the saviors of the world. But it is when their personal stories are told that some of the superhero sheen wears off. They suddenly become ordinary people just like us who suffer the same normal problems and while they manage to somewhat save the world (for now), their personal lives are in disarray. Movies now days do mirror the bleak realities of this world bit can superhero movies please be exempted from this current fad where the creators are more interested in producing "darker and grittier" films? At the end of the day, we all want to cling to the hope that after every all the hardships we face and all the calamities the world suffers, good and humanity will rise above all that. And that even though there are no real superheroes, somewhere out there is a hero who will always choose to be good.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Stay or Stray





There comes a point in a writer's journey when they must decide whether to compromise their vision or not- to stay with what they believe in or stray and give in to what is demanded out of them.
It's not an easy decision to make because for a writer they not only want to be appreciated for their work but also be published and have their books be purchased.

A couple of years ago, when I started on my journey to become a writer, I was drawn to young adult stories. I had an idea that was different from the books popular then. I held off writing that particular story because it was risky and I didn't want to fail at my first attempt to write a whole manuscript.
I surveyed various bookstores and went through the trends and the popular young adult books.

Literally every book that I picked was on vampires. I selected various books from different shelves and red the blurbs: she closed her eyes as he leaned forward to kiss her. The next thing she felt was his teeth pricking the skin of her neck.

I'm paraphrasing the above lines but I was annoyed that the only books being sold for young adults were about vampires. In fact I was asked several times if I was thinking about writing a story on those creatures.

Here's my answer: I won't write a whole novel on vampires. Why? Because they are overdone. The myths on vampires have been distorted and manipulated in many stories. I'm not saying I didn't like a single Twilight book/movie or can't stand watching an episode of Vampire Diaries. In fact I am a huge fan of Vampire Diaries but I still won't work on a vampire story because pretty much every aspect on vampires has been explored in the aforementioned titles.

I always did want to write something different, something that would challenge and inspire me. 'Repeated Lives' was a risk for me, but I could not, not write it. The story was aching to be born so I wrote it and fortunately for me, it was accepted for publication.

Then there is another story I'm currently working on. This story deals with a few disturbing elements and would be excruciating to write. Currently, I'm working on parts of the story that introduces the character and conflicts. But how these conflicts have been created and how they will be solved- that is going to be some real hard work.

The story at the moment focuses on mild elements and I could continue the flow in this way and tone down the disturbing parts.

However without showing the intensity of them, my character loses all credibility and will lack from a clear motive.

It is a hard decision and like many writers, I could wrap up the disturbing parts in complex layers of story and deviate the reader's attention away from them.

On the other hand, I get to grow as a writer by writing something difficult and challenging.

A hard decision to make and fortunately I have some time before I make a decision and take the story to a whole new level.