When's the last time you had a really terrifying nightmare? I'm talking about the type that wakes you out of a sound sleep, forces you to turn on the lights and check every shadowy nook and cranny of your room before you can even think of going back to sleep. For most people, I'll assume that event was more common in childhood than as a completely rational adult with often boring or unremembered dreams. That's the way it was for me anyway, until tonight. I'd only been asleep for about two hours when a sequence of horrendous and blood-chilling visions snapped my eyes wide awake. I feebly attempted to roll over and head back to sleep but no, no that was not happening. So I did what any writer would do: hopped on the computer and started jotting down notes and details. Not only did this particular nightmare produce a fantastic idea for a story, it spawned its own title as well! Crawl on to find out more.
As you may know, I'm most proud of my horror novel "Crawl," a story about a mysterious creature that lurks in the bones of a Victorian manor and interacts with the newly-arrived Carson family. What I really love about "Crawl" is that it will scare you, gross you out, give you the creeps and have you checking under the bed at night...but it's also got a LOT of heart. That heart is what defines the book. I think that's important in separating an okay scary story from a fully-realized tale. I never thought I'd say this, but this little nightmare of mine has an even scarier premise than "Crawl" and somehow manages to contain the same level of heart.
So without giving away too many details, here's the earliest possible synopsis of what will likely start out as a short story (maybe evolving into a novel but Lord almighty do I have enough on my plate at the moment):
I See You - A family of colonists isolated on Mars begins to experience unexplained and horrifying appearances of deformed creatures in their bedrooms each night. With no help in sight, the family becomes more monstrous to deal with the monsters who are becoming more human.
Fans of "Crawl" may pick up on the specific theme here of the line blurring humanity and monstrosity. There's a lot more to it in "I See You," that's for sure! While that title may seem innocuous and maybe a little creepy at worst, it's an integral part to the story and was a great little mental connection that made me want to stay up until 4AM to write it down. "I See You" will blend horror with sci-fi, echoing such greats as "Invasion of the Body Snatchers," "Sphere," "Event Horizon," and "2001: A Space Odyssey." Stay tuned to the blog for news on this one, which I may try to get done fairly quickly to strike while the iron is hot (and to get these images out of my brain and into yours!)
*This post also could have been titled: "What Eating a Double-Veggie Cheeseburger and a Protein Shake Before Bed Does to Your Brain"