Hello, my darlings!
It's the last day of Something Wicked Strikes. *sad face* It's been a wonderful month, I hope you guys had as much fun as I did.
Thank you all for stopping by, reading, commenting and entering the giveaways.
As usual, I saved the best for last. Today I welcome one of my favorite authors and a dear, dear friend, the brilliant Ann Aguirre. I adore all her posts because she holds nothing back. Her candor is always so refreshing. (Also, she often scares the living daylights out of me.)
So without further ado...
I'm afraid of a lot of things.
Most of my fears are irrational. Like clowns, elevators, talking to strangers, heights, dead things, crunchy bugs... and the list goes on. I'm not paralyzed by things that bother me; my neuroses are manageable. Sometimes they make my life challenging, but I press on. On rare occasions, I have shared the fact that I've had strange experiences. I believe there are forces in the world beyond our control, spirits of the dead and entities that never lived. I've had... encounters and events than cannot be explained.
What really scares me, however? People.
Almost any horrific thing you can imagine, humans have done. Auschwitz. Armenia. Cambodia. Bosnia. Rwanda. Darfur. I don't need to define the horror of those places, for as a species, we are terrifying good at murdering one another. Halloween is supposed to be about the supernatural, and I meant to write a post about the Harbinger, whom you meet in Public Enemies, but the monster occupying my head-space right now in gigantic neon signage is named Silence, and she's completely insane.
For the first time in my fairly long career, I recently wrote a scene that made me feel physically ill. And I've written a mad scientist with a sexual predilection for human dolls, crafted a grisly serial killer with major mommy and daddy issues. I think it's generally accepted that I write dark, but what I typed today made me want to throw up. Silence has a death fetish and a legion of devoted followers. I can't even describe in this post how mad it is.
I wrote in Silence's POV. I channeled all her thoughts, her feelings, her desires. And it was so stomach-churningly awful that I'm stunned at myself. That scares me. These ideas came out of my own brain, culled from past precedent and atrocities I've read about.
Why is that that the scariest thing ever, scarier than Baba Yaga, Bigfoot or Beelzebub?
Because Silence is not a demon. She's not an evil spirit or a vampire or a zombie. And she makes Chelsea Cain's Sweetheart killer look like a Girl Scout. Let me reiterate: Silence is a person. Fully human. She had a mother and a father. That means she could actually exist.
And that's what frightens me the most. When you hear something rustling in the dark outside your window, there could be somebody lurking. Maybe he's been watching you, learning your habits. Perhaps he comes in and touches your things when you're not around because hunting you has become his favorite game, and your pain will ultimately be his greatest pleasure.
So lock your doors and windows tight, because you may not be alone.
Ann Aguirre is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling author with a degree in English Literature; before she began writing full time, she was a clown, a clerk, a voice actress, and a savior of stray kittens, not necessarily in that order. She grew up in a yellow house across from a cornfield, but now she lives in sunny Mexico with her husband, children, and various pets. She likes books, emo music, and action movies. She writes all kinds of genre fiction for adults and teens.
a) It was brilliantly done, and
b) I was absolutely horrifed. Sick. I couldn't stop thinking about it. I had to reread some of my favorite feel-good scenes to get over it.
Thank you so much for joining us, Ann! You are the absolute best.
Thanks also to Feri from Le Non Design for our gorgeous buttons and banners. Visit her at www.le-non.com
Enter to win Perdition, the first book in Ann's Dred Chronicles, and meet Silence, Dred and Jael. This trilogy is one of my all-time favorites and I'm delighted that I get to share it with you today.
(If you already own Perdition, I'll gladly send you Havoc instead, or even a pre-order of Breakout.)