Wednesday, November 24, 2010

the lines are blurred with blood

My first novel is narrated by a 16th-century Countess imprisoned in the tower of her Castle for having murdered her servants and bathed in their blood. Yup.

To be clear: I'm not a murderous countess, conducting blood rites in my kitchen. I'm not even into hardcore horror novels and movies - I like to be scared, but I'm a bit of a wimp. When I was a teenager I read a story about the blood-bathing Countess Bathory, and she Freaked Me Out. The things that freak us out that stick around for a long time.

Years later, I started writing about the countess. There were so many questions I wanted to ask her. Like: "What the f@%$# were you thinking?" She's been dead for a really long time, so I read whatever books about her that I could find. Interesting, but not ultimately satisfying. Writing was the only way I could answer those questions myself.

Her story still freaked me out, even as I wrote it. But I found a way to connect with her; some small part of her to empathize: her lonliness. Fear. Insecurity. I know these feelings well; as a teenager they were part of my DNA.

This is what writing "outside the lines" is about for me. Being able to embrace my inner freak. She may be a lunatic, but that's okay. I want to hear her story.

5 comments:

  1. Well, I'm glad you were able to embrace your inner freak! The countess' story sounds really creepy, but at the same time fascinating! (Good thing she's somewhat human!)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think we all have to embrace our inner freak from time to time. It keeps things interesting!

    ReplyDelete
  3. You rock for embracing your inner freak. And that's a very cool confessionary post :P

    (Of course, there's no word like that)

    ReplyDelete
  4. This is the coolest post and idea for a book. I love the idea of embracing your inner freak and what has haunted/fascinated you for so long!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I always love writing books that scare me, Alisa, so I really enjoyed reading about how you came up with the idea for your book. I like how your fascination pulled you in faster than the horror could repel you. Brave writing.

    ReplyDelete