Hello everyone, it's Kay here.
With Halloween only weeks away, the year round popularity of paranormal stories is about to peek, and the makers of horror films are rubbing their hands in anticipation of a brief, but steep, rise in profits. But, what is it about tales of ghouls, vampires and ghosts that makes them so popular?
In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, revolutionary writers, Poe, Lovecraft and M R James all excelled in taking the ordinary and twisting it in such a way that the hair of their readers was standing up on the back of their neck long before anything horrific had happened in the stories. They were skilled at lulling you into imagined terrors slowly- so then, when the horror came- it was all the more horrific for it.So, perhaps it isn’t the fact that in paranormal fiction the characters have the extra dimension of being unworldly to make them more interesting than us mere mortals, but a curious fear of the unknown that makes them popular? Is it the tension of what we don’t understand, and the suspense of what we’ve yet to see, that makes us pick up a book by Stephen King or Adam Nevill?
I get the same goose-pimples on my arms when I explore old buildings that I do when reading a scary book. My imagination is always one step ahead of me. What is around the corner? Why is it so cold? Is it because the building is neglected and damp, or is it because there is something unexplainable lurking...something I don’t understand...?Lack of knowledge can make anything scary. Not knowing what is behind a closed door makes the hidden room beyond a dangerous place- right until you step inside and have your fears allayed – or not. Is there a comfortable bed with a wonderfully warm blanket upon it in the room the odd looking man is ushering you towards, as you are herded up the cobwebbed spiral staircase? Or is there a BDSM dungeon behind the arched wooden door, complete with kinky rack and every variety of paddle and whip you can think of?
Without a readers uncertainty there is no story. I could never have written a word of erotica without being able to play on my audience’s fears. Like my peers who write paranormal or horror, I aim to worry my readers just a little bit. Not too much- because obviously I want them to read on- but enough to pique the curiosity, to make sure they want to know if the man and woman in question will escape from whatever situation I have placed them in with- eventually- a satisfied look upon their faces!The unknown is not just scary, it can be very sexy. One of the joys of my job is to dream up the ‘thing on the other side of the locked door’- to meddle with your imagination as you wait to see if the sound you can hear from the next room is a paddle striking a willingly prone arse...or not...And if it isn’t...then what else could that spanking sound be...and will it turn you on?
When I write my erotica I try and deliberately leave my readers not quite knowing what might happen- which is only fair because I rarely know what is going to happen myself! I never plan an erotic story; I just wait to be as surprised as I hope my readers will be!
Both my erotic physiological mystery, The Voyeur, and the entire Perfect Submissive Trilogy (especially Book 2, The Retreat), were written in this way. The scene in The Retreat’s fairy tale style tower with the tape measure still makes me shiver!! I so didn’t see that coming!
Have a happy October, and spookily "unknown" Halloween!