Writings that meant a lot to me
The work of Edgar Allan Poe
The original. The great grandfather of horror. The O.G. The old head. The one who merged the campfire ghost story and the intimate fears of folklore with the literary. Poe was a genius. Any reader of horror and the otherworldly must be a reader of Poe because any work that followed to this very day is a house built on the foundation of his imagination.
Poe is a huge influence on my writing and that influence goes back to an early age. You could say that he started my journey. It is ironic that I even became an author. When I found Poe, I was a boy who struggled at reading. I was pulled out of regular class for special instruction and dreaded when faced with reading aloud, or reading at all.
Then I found Poe, this author of the dark, this purveyor of the morbid and collector of shadows. I was more than curious. Poe's writing was difficult, especially for a boy struggling to read. But I needed to decipher his spells, and determined, I forced myself to read a few of his most alluring short stories again and again until I could understand them.
I tip my cup to Poe. You were the spark to the fire. Thank you.
Something Wicked This Way Comes
This one, I have read more times than I can count. But no time meant more to me than the first, through a boy's eyes.
I was Jim Nightshade before I ever knew who that was. I was a kid attracted to the night, the dark, the shadows. I was misunderstood, and wanted desperately to grow up too fast.
Something Wicked is truly magical and sets a deeply rich mood that can be felt on the tips of the hairs on the arms. Bradbury is a genius who spins a yarn that can have one reader dying to be an adult, while another longs for the past - or that same reader years apart.
Many thanks to Bradbury for helping me feel comfortable in my Nightshade skin, and that boy grew up to write.