There are challenges related to being a writer that I never would have imagined prior to doing it. Which is funny, because imagining stuff is what writers are good at, right?
My son, who is seven, was talking about some pretty disturbing stuff (blood, decapitation, guts) and I told him I was worried about his brain. I may have mentioned his needing therapy in years to come.
“But, Dad,” he said, “I need to know about horror. You write horror, and you’re my Dad.”
Now, before you think me beastly, I don’t ever let my kids read the scary, gross stuff I write. I’ve written some children’s books (unpublished as yet, though one has been accepted – Yay!) and some light fantasy I’ve read to them, but I keep the horror on the highest shelf. However, my Facebook feed shows posts from other writers who frequently put up horror images. My own story collection, An Aberrant Mind has a seriously creepy clown on it. When my kids first saw it, both were taken aback. Now, they’re used to it, but my four-year-old daughter still occasionally shrieks when she spots it. But, I’m pretty sure she’s just pretending now.
So, the concern is that the kinds of things I write are having a negative impact on the mental health of my own children. I know it’s not really likely to damage them (so long as they don’t actually read it), but I worry anyway. They’re my kids; of course I worry.
Conversely, I know my son is proud of me for being an author – few things in this world are better than hearing your child tell someone else: “My Dad’s (or Mom’s) a…” with pride evident in their voice and body language.
It’s tough, because I want them to be excited about what I do, but I don’t want them to be adversely affected by the horror genre. I was talking about this with David C. Hayes yesterday, in fact. He’s the fellow who wrote the introduction to An Aberrant Mind. David’s great. He doesn’t seem to have any filters at all. Anyway, I mentioned being worried about my kids getting into horror too young, and he said, “We all did.”
He is introducing his niece to the old Universal monster movies and slowly working up to more modern horror as she gets older and better equipped to handle it.
I have already taken my boy to see The Creature from the Black Lagoon (in 3-D!) at the local art house theater. He loved it. I think we’ll have to hang out with Karloff, Cushing and Lee sometime soon. Because, David (who is a hell of a nice guy, by the way) is right: we all started young. And I turned out all right. Sure, there are some very strange things running around in my brain, but they’re not real and they can’t hurt me or my kids.
An Aberrant Mind
ABERRANT is defined as unusual, abnormal or different. The stories in this book not only differ from most of what you read, but also wildly from each other. A retired school teacher takes on an elder god and his minion; a werewolf picks fights with sea creatures; a neighbor’s lawn may be eating people. Twenty-two stories: scary, funny, weird and different.
In these pages, you will find darkness and fear, revulsion and terror. Mixed with it, however is quite a bit of humor. Sometimes both happen at the same time. So, open it up, join Jim as he fights off zombies with a potato cannon; witness the bloodbath reunion of the first man and his homicidal son; enjoy the monsters, the demons and the deranged.
A word of warning, though: you may never eat a bagel with lox again.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR – Ken MacGregor’s work has appeared in over fifty anthologies, magazines and podcasts. Ken is a member of The Great Lakes Association of Horror Writers and an Affiliate member of HWA. You can find Ken on Amazon, Goodreads, Facebook, and at ken-macgregor.com. Ken’s the kind of guy that, if he found himself stranded somewhere with you, would probably eat you to survive. Ken hopes you enjoyed the stories in this collection and that you sleep just a little less well because of them. Ken lives in Michigan with his family and two unstable cats.
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