Rabid rantings of a seriously unhinged woman who may or may not be suitably in charge of her young children; may or may not be attempting to be a serious writer; is definitely not in control of her tumbledown house or her expanding waistline. Sanity and set dinnertimes always in question.
pleased to let my writing friend KEVIN BUFTON take the reins on the SPARKLY HAPPINESS
PROJECT. Kevin's horror novella CAKE (yep, I said HORROR) was released earlier
this week and he's kindly agreed to blogpost for me.
It wasn't easy. He
writes scary, squishy stuff, and well, you know what we're all about
on my blog. Happiness. Positivity.
So I gave him a bit of a challenge, you could say!
Links to the book are below, get one and have a read. You'll
be glad you did. Or scared.
Which is just as good.
welcome to the fourth stop on my Piece of Cake Blog Tour. I’d like to
thank Joanna, for allowing me space on her blog to promote my debut novella, Cake, which was released on Monday.
At each stop
along this tour, I have asked my respective hosts to provide me with a theme,
on which to pen a few words, my reasoning being that coming up with half a
dozen disparate topics, whilst also attempting to whore my book for all it’s
worth, was too much like hard work. So, host’s prerogative, I thought.
Which is why I
am sat here, in front of my laptop, writing about happiness. That’s right. I’m
a horror fan, and horror writer, weaned on Hammer and Universal films since I
was four years old, lover of all things macabre and gothic, blood-soaked and terror-filled,
and yet I find myself having to give serious consideration to that emotion that
is the very antithesis of all that dark goodness…
…or is it?
You see, when
I stop to consider what makes me happy – by which I mean that which truly make me happy, not something that staves
off the boredom for an hour or so – it becomes increasingly easy to understand
why I have made a home for myself in the horror genre.
My wife and
our kids are my main source of happiness, and I don’t care if that sounds like
a stock response. Individually and as a team they have driven me up the wall,
but I love them so much, and the very thought of them makes me smile. As I
write these words, they follow a beautiful day spent walking along the Wirral seafront
for two and a half hours, just the four of us. My wife, our son and I pointing
out the shapes we could see in the clouds overhead, my little daughter dozing
contentedly in her pram – what more could a man ask for? Indeed, it occurred to
me that if neither of us needed to work for a living, there could be few
existences more sublime than being able to do this every day.
That was when
it struck me. Once you make your way past the shuffling undead, the eldritch
abominations, the flesh-tearing cryptids and the unspeakable sociopaths that
fill a great many of my stories, I'm really writing about families. Whether it
is the need to protect them, the agony of losing them, or the fear of never
seeing them again, family plays a huge part in my writing. They are my greatest
joy, and the thought that they might come to harm is the fuel that powers all
those dark thoughts that I put down on paper.
On a practical
level, they are also what inspire me to write in the first place. The
possibility that one day, in the not too distant future, I might be able to
support my wife and kids solely through the nightmares I produce for other
people is a wonderful incentive, and by far the greatest remedy for writer’s
block that I have ever come across.
source of happiness is the act of writing itself – creating a world from
scratch, where forgotten evils lurk in dark corners, where unspeakable fiends
rend flesh and crush bone, and where the dead walk. It is an incomparable
feeling. I've never taken hard drugs, but I can’t imagine anything matching the
buzz that comes when, halfway through a piece, something just clicks and you
realise that – YES – this story is actually going to work!
At the moment,
I am writing around my family and my day job; tapping away at my trusty laptop
into the wee hours most nights, but it’s not a chore. I don’t find myself
dreading the blank page, or fretting over finding the right word for the scene
I am attempting to convey. On the contrary, I normally only stop writing
because I'm conscious that I have to go to work in the morning. I'm wide awake,
and a bundle of creativity, until I close the lid on my computer, and only then
will my mind and body take the hint that maybe a few hours’ sleep are in order.
me happy. That might seem an odd thing to say, but it’s true. Whether I'm writing it, reading it or watching it, a good horror tale will make me smile,
even as it makes me shudder. Horror is a powerful emotion, and, though it’s
easy to get it wrong, when you get it right, it can affect you in ways that no other
emotion can. Fear is what makes us keep the light on, because we don’t know
what’s waiting for us in the dark; terror is what makes us look over our
shoulder if we’re walking home alone and notice a sound on the very edge of
hearing. It may seem, to some, to be a rather base emotion, and an unsavoury
thing from which to derive pleasure, but it is universal to us all.
So, I am happy
with my family, I’m happy when I write, and I am happy whilst being horrified.
To tie all of this together, I'm happy when something I have written gets read
by someone else. It is what makes writers become writers in the first place –
telling a story, and having somebody take something from it, is one of the
greatest pleasures known to man. Seeing someone reading a copy of your book;
reading a review by someone who has enjoyed it (or not – bad reviews are fine
too, so long as you learn something from them); having someone e-mail you, or
Tweet you to let you know they appreciate what you've done – these are truly
life-affirming experiences. After all, a story that sits there with nobody to
read it, might as well be used as kindling. Stories are vibrant things that
yearn to be read, to be told, and to be passed on to the next willing
So go ahead –
pick up a copy of Cake. Read it,
enjoy it, and tell me what you think of it – good or bad. If you like it, let
somebody else know either by word of mouth, or by leaving a review on Amazon or
These are the
things that make me happy, and it is my honest wish that my writing will become
one of yours.