My name is Christine King, I am a horror writer and yes, I am a woman.
I like to write spooky, creepy horror. I don’t always succeed but that is what I like to read, and so that is what I write.
If you want to know more about me then feel free to visit my author page, I have excerpts from some of my work on there.
If however you are looking for the kind of writer who produces vampire love stories, gore filled pages of unnecessary blood or torture porn. Sorry, that’s not me.
I fell in love with horror when I was in my teens. My mum had no where to store her book collection and they ended up in my bedroom. I sat reading Dracula and Frankenstein, they thrilled me but I wanted something I could connect with. Then one day I picked up Skeleton Crew by Stephen King at a local charity shop. The introduction touched me, the words settled in my soul, like a secret letter from an admirer, and made me fall in love with Mr King. That book became my favourite, and I must have read it at least fifty times. I found other books by my love at the library and sat up late reading, absorbing every word. Amazed at the images in my mind, the story, the craft. I read other authors, I lost myself in worlds full of dark mystery and blood. Then I tried to copy my heroes and I began writing a few little stories. But as these things often go, when I got up the courage to show them to those I trusted, I was told they were not good enough, told to not waste my time and so I moved on, heartbroken. I still wrote, but just for me.
Many years later, I met my husband and he was supportive, kind and wanted me to follow my dream.
I began to write. Shy at first, nervous of peoples reactions, toughening my skin for those rejections. But, after quite a few replies saying “We loved reading your work but it isn’t right for us at this time.” I found someone who wanted to publish my work and I can tell you that the day that happened was amazing. I cried with happiness that someone had validated my efforts, someone, somewhere had said “You are good enough.” No matter how strong we are as women it is always nice to hear that.
I continued to write, to be published, and I have a short story book available on Amazon.
It is called `A kiss in the dark’ and if any of you know the book Skeleton crew then you will know the title is a homage to my first love, they say you never forget your first.
But I also found resistance, some magazines and anthologies seemed reluctant to take my stories despite my efforts. These publications were often male orientated. I had never thought that being female might be a turn off to readers. I started a group on Facebook to help get new female writers into the genre, to give them support and a place to vent.
Then my nine year old daughter began to show signs of wanting to write. Amazing, but she liked writing fantasy. I had dabbled in fantasy a few times. I love the Discworld books and I had tried my hand at some dragon stories and gritty tales of the tooth fairy but my little one wanted help to create an entire world. She wanted a strong female character that didn’t rely on men to save her, or her looks to get her what she wanted. She wanted to write something that she would want to read, it was difficult and challenging but together we managed to craft six books in a children’s fantasy series. The first `Gem masters and the search for the unicorns tears’ has been published by Foundation books and is available here.
She is very excited and I am so glad I can encourage her to follow her dreams.
I often wonder what her first true love will be? Harry potter? Narnia? His dark materials? Or something else? I can only hope that what ever it is, it inspires her to be or do what ever she wants to and that she will let me, her long suffering mother, tag along for the ride.
A short piece from one of my stories.
The cave was warm and the large fire at its mouth danced hungrily, as people added dried out leaves and wood. Some had sticks with small fishes, or other foods dangling over the flames. The cold, merciless night seemed to stop at the fires edge, its life-giving glow providing security, heat and a way to cook whatever they had caught.
People chatted in the golden, swaying light and some laughed at the children performing an overly dramatic play, the little ones had worked all day on it and many had gathered round to watch. Sam was watching from a distance, he felt happy and content after eating a good meal that his father had cooked earlier, he had found three new books to read today and he was sure that Susan, daughter of the Petersons was making eyes at him earlier as he ate. She was a beauty, really stunning, she also knew how to hunt and sew. His mum said she was a catch, so he knew his parents would approve of her.
He held up the books to look at the condition of the covers, many books were disintegrating and yet these three looked in great condition, he had found them on a scavenger hunt, it wasn’t what he was meant to have done today. His father had asked him to go fishing, but Sam hated fishing, and seed sowing, and picking. He didn’t enjoy melting metal, or crafting ways to heat the caves, nor did he enjoy toil of any kind, he did like hunting, but his large frame wasn’t easy to conceal, and he was a little clumsy. Still the books were a great find, so maybe he had done well after all and what his father didn’t know wouldn’t hurt him. He just said he didn’t catch anything today and acted upset at his lack of luck.
The cave walls were graffitied with so many drawings, some by the kids, sweet, colourful and some higher up and better painted by the adults, those ones had a purpose, those ones told a story. He looked at the flickering images and felt sleepy.
With his eyes half open he strained to see the pictures way back, the ones almost lost to the darkness of the cave, they started the story. The day the sky had cracked open, the Day of loss. Sam had been about five or six when it all happened, he didn’t remember very much but the pictures showed him the story, day after day, and the elders often told them about the Day of loss if no other entertainment was forth coming.
Something had happened with a new machine, a new experiment, it had been all over the news, Sam remembered it vaguely, it was so long ago. Something about recreating the big bang. His tired mind sent up a little chuckle, they had created a big bang all right.
They, scientists, had wanted to know what happened when you created worlds, the sky had split in two and the world had changed, a new world was created but ours was in the way. A rip to another dimension opened, a way from there to here, and something came through, some things.
Huge, tentacled creatures, land bound squids. Things with four mouths and twenty eyes, so big they seemed to swallow the sun. Bringing with them, fear and panic. People are not sensible on mass, they feed each other’s anxieties, they run, they scream, they loot.
People scrambled, armies joined forces, presidents, generals and kings shouted orders. The creatures didn’t notice. They explored this new land and seemed to find it pleasant, they settled in. The bombs and other weapons had little effect, like bugs throwing grains of sand at the foot of a human.
The creatures destroyed much, but the people destroyed more, trying to fight the monsters, monsters who didn’t even know they existed.
Christine King is a writer of horror, sci-fi, fantasy and poetry, she is a wife and a mother. She also works in a local primary school and volunteers for Dementia friends.
She has been writing for many years and has had a few poems win awards and many stories published in various magazines and anthologies. Recently she was named as ‘one to watch’ in female horror writing. She has produced a book of short stories which is available on Amazon and she runs a blog that will hopefully be incorporated into a book sometime soon.
Her favourite authors are Terry Pratchett, Stephen King, Jules Verne and Jane Austin, she often finds them influencing her style of writing, but she also finds her own voice. She enjoys sushi and a good cocktail. When she has time, she loves a bit of archery and is an eighties cinema buff. She can usually be found at the cinema and although she loves movies, she often, like many others, finds the book is better.
About the Author:
S. K. Gregory is an author, editor and blogger. She currently resides in Northern Ireland.
“Description begins in the writer’s imagination, but should finish in the reader’s.”