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.


  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!)

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

  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)

  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!

  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.