Friday, October 28, 2011

It's Not You, It's Me

I read something not long ago that suggested writers should read something outside their preferred genre once in a while, as a tool to help hone their eye for techniques such as characterization and plot development. That advice came at a time when I was open to hearing it, for one of my husband's former students (D.L. Atha) had written a novel, and although the novel is in a genre (horror/paranormal) that is totally not my thing, I wanted to support her. So I bought the novel, Blood Reaction, for my Kindle and intended to pick it up as soon as I finished Ivanhoe.

The story is about a woman who battles a vampire to save her life and the life of her daughter. I have to admit, I really felt some apprehension when I thought about reading it. For one thing, the reviews I saw said the vampire in Atha's book is a departure from the current mold of vampires and harks back to the evil roots of the creatures. For another, Atha is a doctor, and the promotional materials also pointed out that she used her knowledge of the body and medicine to create the protagonist's way to overcome the vampire. A bit squeamish, I am.  A few years ago, I quit reading Allen Eckert's The Frontiersmen--even though I'm really into that genre and time period--when I got to the part describing the torture the Indians inflicted on their captives. The little bit I read of that description still bothers me, as does a student speech I heard YEARS ago about various means of torture people have used throughout history.

Not only am I squeamish, I also have quite an active imagination and am rather easily spooked. Yes, I'm one of those people who checks behind the shower curtain if I come home and find I've accidentally left the door unlocked. Heck, I got spooked the other night just listening to my son tell about the movie Insidious. My friends in college took great advantage of this, including the time I (because of social pressure) went to see Poltergeist with a group of friends. My roommate Beth hid under the bunk beds after we got back and grabbed my ankle as I walked past--let's just say it's a good thing I was returning from the bathroom, not on my way to the bathroom!

So I started Blood Reaction last night. Although I have a three-chapter rule (I give a book three chapters to capture me before I give up on it), I think I'm going to make an exception this time. The book starts with Annalice, the protagonist, preparing to spend a week totally alone in her big, old, two-story house in the middle of nowhere, eight miles down a one-lane country road. Her daughter has gone to spend the week with Annalice's mother, and Annalice takes advantage of her alone time to go for a horse ride in the woods. But she loses track of time, and it gets dark before she gets back home. And she can't shake the feeling someone is watching her....Then when she is finally inside and "safe," she hears thumps upstairs. No one is there, but one window is unlocked....

Shivers!!! I kept telling myself not to let my mind go too deeply into it because I really didn't want to start thinking about Annalice's situation when I woke up at 2:00 a.m. So, while I do want to be supportive of Atha's book, I just don't want to have her scary, evil vampire roaming around in the cocktail party going on in my brain (see this post to understand that analogy).  Maybe someone reading this blog is braver than I am, and maybe that someone will give the book a read. I'll put a link to the Amazon page below. If you are one of those people who like to be scared (and apparently there are plenty of you, given the earnings of horror movies!), here's your chance to discover a new author. To help you decide, here are a couple of reviews:

A review from Fabulosity Nouveau
Review by Bunnycates

As for me, I think I'll find something nice and definitely non-scary to read - maybe it's time to revisit Winnie-the-Pooh! : )

Amazon page for Blood Reaction (Kindle version)

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