Tuesday, October 30, 2012

13 Days of Halloween: Day 12, Natalie G. Owens

Hello world!

Welcome to Day 12 of the 13 Days of Halloween, when the authors of the Tales of the Mist anthology go trick or treatin'! Our treat: 13 days of fun guest posts by each author of the just released TALES FROM THE MIST anthology. Ready to go? Yes? Here we go, then... :)


Before I start, I'd like to share that TALES FROM THE MIST is currently on sale at $4.99 through October 31st. After this date, the regular price of $5.99 will apply. The book can be purchased from the following retailers:


Amazon US (in digital and print versions)
Amazon UK (in digital and print versions)
Barnes and Noble
Kobo
Smashwords

TALES FROM THE MIST is already gathering some pretty neat endorsements, including the following one:


"One of those rare anthologies that gets it right from the first story to the last."
~ Joe McKinney, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of Flesh Eaters and Mutated

So on this note, I leave the floor to ... myself! :) I am very proud to be part of this fine collection. All the stories in this anthology are amazing and engaging. You will love it!




My Brand of Horror



Until I wrote my story “A Kind of Judgment”, I’d never written a story of horror before. I also used to think (wrongly, of course) that horror as a genre involved lots of blood, gore and perhaps vampires or zombies. I did always love the old-fashioned gothic tales set in the Victorian era, a fascinating period when the Occult and other mysteries were extensively explored. Based on this, I realized that there need not be blood or mutilated body parts for a story to be frightening… and that the horror genre can be as diverse, colorful and interesting as one could possibly imagine.  


In fact, in the horror I write, there is no gratuitous violence, a throat slit, or a head axed. The stories that come to me are drawn from life and derive from a situation that is completely plausible. For this is the type of horror that I find truly frightening – a lost life, a past of tragedy and regret, a forgettable present, and a hopeless future. It is the tragic circumstance of the human condition that fascinates me in its detail – the failings of the individual spirit, and the consequences of flawed decisions. This is how the “Faustian Fantasy Tales” were born. I didn’t originally intend them to be this way when I initially published the first one – “A Kind of Judgment”. But the name was given to me by a reviewer, and the story included in “Tales from the Mist” – “An Inconvenient Debt” – follows suit on that path.



Because when I think about man’s deepest desires, and the fact that some will do anything in this world to fulfill them – I believe that this is something many of us face at one time or other. How many times have we compromised in a way we disliked? How many times have we sacrificed something to get something else that is greater or better in our eyes? How many times would we sacrifice ourselves and our very well-being for someone we love… or a thing we covet? These are the questions asked in “An Inconvenient Debt”.

I find that in any story, having a few ounces of heartbreak, a worthy baggage of misfortune – not silly misgivings – makes for deep, captivating characters.  It doesn’t matter if I am writing romance or dark fiction. When I wrote both “A Kind of Judgment” and “An Inconvenient Debt”, I felt that they were those types of stories that gave me no easy answer. The scariest part for me was the thought that somewhere in this world (perhaps next door or a block down from you) live people just like the characters in these stories, with the same hopes and fears, the same fate, and the same damaged life. What then happens to these people and the choices they make is the true horror for me.

Speaking of horror... 

One of the major characters in AN INCONVENIENT DEBT is Jonas, who is ... interesting, to say the least. If you'd like to learn more about him, please check out my other short, A KIND OF JUDGMENT, where Jonas makes an appearance: 



So, what do you consider truly frightening horror? In what way has horror touched you, or have you touched horror? The kind of horror that doesn’t let you sleep at night… This is the perfect timing to discuss this, on the cusp of Halloween, one of the most fascinating times of the year :).



Tell me your thoughts, and I'll pick two winners who'll receive a copy of A KIND OF JUDGMENT in the format of their choice.

About TALES FROM THE MIST:

TALES FROM THE MIST will take you on a journey into the dark world of the paranormal. These twelve stories vary in their degree of horror, yet all reach across the boundaries of their genres into the chilling realms of the macabre. Witches, ghosts, shape-shifters and vampire rats are some of the creatures that reign within these pages.

About AN INCONVENIENT DEBT:

A mother makes a Faustian bargain for her son’s freedom. But can she truly meet the cost when his real prison demands payment of a different debt?

About me:

Natalie G. Owens got her first taste of serious writing by penning award–winning poetry, as well as feature articles for college and local publications, in her native Malta. She sold her first book to a small publisher in 2007 and is currently indie published. Her favorite stories to write are romances with a dark edge featuring brooding heroes, strong heroines, exotic settings, and a good dash of fantasy. Daydreaming tops her list of hobbies, followed by reading, cooking, traveling, sharing good times with family and friends, and ogling shoe store displays. You can find out more about Natalie and her work on her website (http://www.nataliegowens.com).

Other social media links:


EXCERPT FROM AN INCONVENIENT DEBT:

I don’t hear her voice.
When she speaks, the sound pours inside me, down to my tummy, wet and warm. But the sound I hear is different. Not a voice, something else.
Zoom. Whoosh.
I swing with her body, from side to side. She moves like this as she stands, waiting for something. The wetness around me is hot, bad, not nice. It’s because she’s crying. She jerks forward and I get a bit warmer. I feel her touch from inside. Her hand is so close, I have tingles. If only I could reach it from here. She rubs, rubs. 
Feels good, so good.
Now she jerks again and screams.
Screech.
I fall with her.
Can’t move, don’t want to move right now, just go to sleep, but she won’t let me. Someone’s pressing gently on her, on me. Another voice shouts. I suck my thumb faster and touch my face.
My head goes around and around as everything around me is sticky and ugly. I don’t like this. Before was better, even when she sounded sad, when she screamed and the man screamed back at her. He screamed at her a lot, all the time. It was a deep, scary voice–not like hers at all. It yelled over her, louder, so much I couldn’t hear her any more.
Now I don’t hear her either. I hear the other voice, this new voice, say, “Call an ambulance! This woman’s pregnant!”
There’s more shouting but I hear only a little anymore as my ears close up.
The liquid thickens around me, but she doesn’t talk, rub or move with me.
She doesn’t make me better.
I feel tired, sleepy. Please make me better.



  
~ Natalie G. Owens ~
No Rules. No Formulas. 

Just a world of love, mystery and fantasy!