Well, hello there sweet Darklings! I suppose introductions are due, yes? My name is Juss Stinson, I am an author, a mother, a life consultant, an oddity enthusiast, and I am proudly blogging for Women in Horror Month! I began my author journey in 2014 at the age of 23 and have since then self-published five books including: two paranormal romances, a horror themed poetry/short story anthology, a children's book about a sweet werewolf pup, and a free verse horror story. Many more creepy creations are also in the making, of course! *Insert delightful evil cackling here* I am writing to give forth a few pieces of my mind regarding this awesome month, filled with awesome women, and the most awesome genre. I am sure you are thinking to yourself that this sounds pretty awesome...YOU WOULD BE RIGHT! Anyway, I certainly hope you can take something from my playful prattling.
What is my biggest advice to anyone dabbling in horror? Don't dread the brainstorming of your projects because dread is exactly what we want. I mean, think about it, we are talking about horror here! I know that when we look at something as a whole that it can get overwhelming. Break it down, turn that stress into scream fuel, and place that dread we were talking about into the details of your work. You won't be disappointed. My biggest problem when I began was the feeling of a stop sign directly in my view in the moments I was whisked away into my world of writing. I quickly learned that this is exactly the place you need to be in order to create the best ideas. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT allow yourself to dial it down when that scream fuel creates a fire! There are always moments of reflection later on. This means that later on if you really don't like how something played out, you will have plenty of time to edit. Just remember that editing can happen whenever, but those crazy floods of thought are spontaneous. Embrace that rush and prepare to grab a bucket for its collection. Ps, write it all down as it comes just in case you want to recycle thoughts later. You may want to take those thoughts and manipulate or tweak them to enhance things down the road as you edit.
Is horror really where it's at? Hey! Who asked that?! Don't be ridiculous, horror is one of the most amazing genres, no question about it. Don't get me wrong, there are so many epic genres that I am also in love with, but horror is surely my favorite and is unforgettable. It is elaborate and a place that the grotesque can be made gorgeous! I can certainly tell you that when you dabble in the realm of horror you really aren't going to forget it. When I was a kid and saw my first horror movie it was simply monumental. In entertainment, one of the most sought after factors is a range of emotions. Emotions are put into play in order to make something fantastic and create an impact in the mind. Horror is a genre that really invokes the strongest of emotions. I have sat through sad movies and blubbered like an idiot, but have you ever launched a popcorn bucket three rows in front of you in just a matter of seconds? I can tell you this, the popcorn bucket made for a better memory rather than leaving a snotty mess of tissues on the floor. I also love getting a strange look from someone when I am reading and give out a sharp audible gasp or make a variety of twisted faces while I go through the motions. If you just naturally love horror than you know exactly what I am talking about. It's almost like a roller coaster of excitement, confusion, mystery, and fear. Some people greatly enjoy taking that ride.
I suppose one of the biggest things to mention is do not be surprised if you start somewhere specific and then end up with a product that has you questioning what in the world happened. You can map things out all you'd like, outline your troubles away my friend, but sometimes you still end up taking a scenic backroad. When things don't go as planned take it as a sign that the brainchild spoke for itself. Isn't that the magic of storytelling? If it surprises even you, the creator, than clearly originality has taken its proper place in the process. Also, feel free to yell "IT'S ALIVE" after creating whatever you are working on because that is always appropriate in this genre. When you are working with horror be prepared to play with some funky ideas. I can't tell you how many times I am reading my own material and find something strange, even in my eyes! I treasure those moments because molding them into a story is always fun.
Speaking of fun, I may have had a bit too much fun writing this, but I hope it shows why I am so passionate about horror. I am more than honored to be able to live in a world where I am a woman in horror. I suppose it is not just this month, but actually every day of every year! More about me and my work can be found in the links I will provide below! I am also on most social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. Please feel free to reach out to me for any reason because I am a sucker for conversation, especially when it comes to horror!