i fell in love with stephen king at a young age. in those days they had his novels at the checkout line at the grocery store. as a child i had to get mine from the library of course. pretty sure i started with THE GREEN MILE, in serialized form. christopher pike and r. l. stein (god, GOOSEBUMPS). short story anthologies. ghost stories. monster movies. it felt very natural. though other times the horror came by accident — like THE LOTTERY. that was a total surprise. i remember feeling stunned. almost physically in a daze. to this day i love horror stories, can’t stop reading them.
and it never ends. you make these sudden discoveries. like, sadegh hedayat of THE BLIND OWL..?? fcking shocking, complicated, multilayered gothic horror. it touched my heart. i felt like a different person after encountering him. didn’t even happen til my 30s. back in the day, HOUSE OF LEAVES (mark z. danielewski), I couldn’t open my own closet for a month. ridiculously scared. i fell in love with the decaying monster of FRANKENSTEIN IN BAGHDAD by ahmed saadawi. ted hughes wrote a short story called THE HEAD that i had to read twice, rapidly, when i first read it. it was magnificent, deeply disturbing. i long to know the entire pantheon of great & sometimes obscure gods of horror writing. i can’t resist, the library’s right there (walking distance!), i know a couple good bookstores, i consistently trawl the internet — i’m going to find them out.