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On the edge

December 30, 2009

It’s almost, almost 2010.

I quite like the sound of 2010 – it has a bit of a vintage sci-fi air about it!

Anyway, what am I up to? Currently suffering a bit of a Christmas-based lull on DPM (bah, humbug. The festive season was relatively painless this year but I’m still definitely not a fan, especially when it’s coupled with endless drizzle) but I’m writing a good, old-fashioned ghost story instead. Or should I say, quite a modern ghost story (I hope it’s still good, though). It’s shocking how difficult it is to come up with a truly original ghost story these days, without resorting to the hackneyed old “then they found out she’d died ten years ago”, “and behind the wall was a secret room”, “he’d come back to tell us something important” type scenarios. I never realised just how hard it is until I set about writing this one.

It’s interesting though, it does make you realise why writers or filmmakers rely increasingly on ever-multiplying buckets of gore in a bid to make an original impression. It’s easier to up the ante than to try and go back and risk doing something understated that’s been done a million times before and will have to be very skillfully tackled in order to just not fall flat.

I find psychological horror more effective – why I’ve always described my work as ‘gentle’ horror, even though I imagine a lot of people wouldn’t call it horror at all. I write about what disturbs me: the innocuous, even twee things that at first strike you as sweet but then come back to nibble at your subconscious when the lights go out. I’m sure I don’t hit the mark every go, but I hope I do at least some of the time.

So I shall go back to poking at that one, and wish you all a happy, horrific new year, and point you towards my updated news page as well – Flash magazine featuring two of my stories is now available to buy!

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