If you read my last post you’ll see that I mentioned a very talented man that I’ve been co-writing a novella with… well this is the guy! He’s taking time out of his busy schedule to guest post on my blog and talk about why horror works for him.
“Ah you think darkness is your ally? You merely adopted the dark. I was born in it, molded by it. I didn’t see the light until I was already a man; by then it was nothing to me but blinding!”
Why Horror, David?
Because I was born of it; grew up living in a world full of it, along with fear and sadness…But hey, the poet needs the pain, right?
Let me explain, but I fear I won’t be able to keep it from sounding like a cliché – I’m not typical of writing or talking about sob stories for attention, drama or any other reason…I just feel as though I have to get this out, as much stuff has been going on in my life lately.
Before I go any further, I just want it to be known that I love my parents, and that how my childhood was, doesn’t change that. In fact, it helped instil in me a love for horror and violence.
Maybe ‘love’ is the wrong word. I certainly love it now, as it’s a world I’ve immersed myself in – I get great joy out of it with my writing, as I strive to become a known and loved author.
But back in my childhood, I think to have called it ‘love’ would be wrong of me. I think the world of horror and violence was my safety blanket…Who knows? But it’s a starting point.
So, ‘Why horror?’
It’s a question I’ve been confronted with on many, many occasions. My answer? That I grew up on pirate, ninja and horror films from a very tender age; a tender age of five or maybe younger; I’m pretty sure I was five…I remember watching “The Howling II: Your Sister is a Werewolf”, so five would have been about right.
That film was probably my first horror flick.
I also remember watching and loving “Flesh and Blood”, but that would have come later in the 80s.
So yeah, the whole I grew up on pirate, ninja and horror films from a very tender age is true. I didn’t make it up for shits and giggles!
Hey, I had older brothers, what can I say? I’m sure many of you were in the same boat, right?!
Anyone remember “Gymkata”? I thought that was the best ninja movie ever…Until “American Ninja” came along, that is. What about that pirate movie with Michael Caine? “The Island” – Cor! now that is an oldie, along with “Who Could Kill a Child?”
My heroes were Jason Voorhees, Freddy Kruger and Michael Meyers as a child, along with the “Garbage Pile Kids”, “Ghoulies”, “Gremlins” and “The Monster Squad”.
Every weekend my parents would go out and leave one of my older brothers to look after me – if it was Richard, then it was sure to be a night filled with blood, guts and carnage; the video shop was our playground…Yeah, I used to pop along with him.
Aye, for a shaggy, blond-headed five-year-old, I was made of pretty stern stuff. I loved the gore and monsters, but my nightmares were horrific, if you listen to my brother talk about those long ago Saturday nights…
‘The bloodier the better,’ Richard has told me I was said, whenever I ask him about my film likes back then.
Richard was also underage at the time, but only by three or four years.
You’re probably wondering where the ‘sob story’ come into all this?
Well, we’ve pretty much discovered where my love for horror has come from, and why I write what I write.
But why was it my ‘safety blanket’ as a small child?
The answer is simple – my parents had a very unhealthy relationship when I was a child. It was filled with drunken rage and violence; the things that went on, were the sort of things a small child should never bare witness to. I’ve never spoken about this before, only to close friends and past/current girlfriends.
I guess it’s not the type of stuff you just throw into conversations?
I’m not going to dwell on this part too much, but I am going to recant a tale that will never leave my memory.
Again, I was still very young at this point – no older than five or six.
My parents returned from a night out, very drunk I may add, and started arguing. I was upstairs asleep when they come home, but their loud shouts and my mother’s screams of pain woke me.
When I went downstairs, scared witless, I’d never seen a scene in real-life like it – nor to this day, in fact. The living room was a complete bombsite – furniture had been smashed and thrown around the place, with broken glass everywhere.
My fear turned to sobs of distress and panic, as you can imagine.
Running into the kitchen, I saw the walls were covered in blood – and I mean covered. They were running red, just like my mother’s face.
A shocking moment, believe you me; this behaviour of theirs continued throughout my childhood, causing me to live in constant fear.
Fear for myself and my mother.
Film and TV were my friends – I found a world in which I belonged.
Maybe I knew no different?
It wasn’t all doom and gloom, though, as I was very much loved for by both my parents. Still am. It’s something that will never change, as I love them, too.
We only get one set of parents in our life…
My type of past would be seen as a negative by most who have suffered in such ways, or worse, I’m sure – but I’ve taken it and used it for a gain, and boy is it working, as I strive to reach my goals within my writing.
I wrote this post after I discovered a batch of old photos of myself as a young boy – the images of me playing brought a smile to my face, as I thought back. There were a lot of good times, especially the ones spent with my brother.
I have a son of my own now, and when I look at him sometimes, I think of myself at that age, as he’s spiting image of me at that age. His innocence makes me laugh, as he hates anything scary.
‘Not like your dad,’ I’ve heard my mother tell him…
David Owain Hughes is a horror freak! He grew up on ninja, pirate and horror movies from the age of five, which helped rapidly install in him a vivid imagination. When he grows up, he wishes to be a serial killer with a part-time job in women’s lingerie…He’s had several short stories published in various online magazines and anthologies, along with articles, reviews and interviews. He’s written for This Is Horror, Blood Magazine and Horror Geeks Magazine. He’s the author of the popular novel “Walled In” (2014), along with his short story collections “White Walls and Straitjackets” (2015) and “Choice Cuts” (2015). After discovering Richard Laymon, David set out on a path to become the best writer he could, holding a BA and MA in creative writing.
Choice Cuts’ blurb:
Choice Cuts: A collection of one of the finest splatter-fuelled horror the genre holds, an unflinching set of short stories that will stay with you, horrors that set root into the back of your psyche & taunt your sanity to its limits.
Here lies fourteen tales of all that is baneful & bloodthirsty from David Owain Hughes, an author with an unflinching love for all things close-to-the-bone, grim & grotesque. Once you delve into these pages you will come face to face with an unstoppable force of pure gore. Readers of a delicate disposition may want to put this tome back on the shelf, while those of you who feel ready to be dragged along into the minds of the deranged & disturbed, the murderous & malignant who watch & wait…
Packed with fast-paced thrills & many, many spills. You’ll come face to face with what lies beneath the surface of the mundane & ordinary, step foot into the maze of murder, mania & madness…just be sure to come out in one piece, not just another choice cut.
We had the disquieting dioramas of stealth-like shocks & spills of Laymon…now we present you with Hughes’ own approach towards the antagonistic execution in the realms of the fear & mayhem that can strike when you least expect it. If you’re a fan of Laymon & Lee, you’ll devour Choice Cuts.
Buy link for Amazon: Choice Cuts