The POV stands for “point of view”. And yes, as a potential plotline for my next novel was developing, it kept leaning towards another child character. Not just any child either, another young teenager.
But honestly, I kept going back to this scenario, no matter how hard I tried to shift the focus. The narrative just wouldn’t work without such a character.
Maybe I should explain.
I have written before about the roots of horror in my life. I have traced it back to a number of potential sources, the two most important being catching a TV trailer/commercial for the Village of the Damned in 1960 and becoming infatuated with dinosaurs around the same time. While the fascination with monster movies grew from these origins, my interest in horror fiction received a real jolt with the reading of The Other and The Exorcist in the early 1970s. One commonality about these two novels was having a youth protagonist at the center of the story (something also shared with the Village of the Damned from 1960). I realized early on that having an evil child or a defenseless child at the mercy of something monstrous intensified exponentially the sense of fear and danger. These were cheap thrills, granted, but chilling nonetheless. I knew that if I ever wrote a horror novel, I would follow with a similar theme. Go for the jugular, and do it with a teen character.
Birth Offering was written with this goal. I knew the type of character Ryan would be…a typical fourteen year old with some added strengths to allow him to survive a series of harrowing events. This boy had to confront ghostly apparitions and literally wrestle with demonic creatures and an evil adult bent on his destruction. I am pleased with the way Ryan turned out.
During the two-plus years I was peddling Birth Offering, I wrote two other pieces. The first of the two, Sweet Aswang, had close connections to my professional endeavors. I’m a university professor in the area of counseling psychology, and my research focus is in pediatric psychology. That is, my interests are related to issues of chronic illness in kids. Specifically, my research agenda involves the problems that teenagers have with adhering to their medical regimens. In my research the focus has primarily been with kids who have Type 1 diabetes. What originally started as a short story, Sweet Aswang evolved into a forty-four thousand word novella. In the story, two teenagers who have Type 1 diabetes find themselves coming face to face with an unusual monster (the title gives it away). As far as I can tell, this is the first diabetes-related monster/horror story.
This blog will continue...