Shirley Jackson called herself a witch and had a deep interest in the occult, which she studied and practiced throughout her life. According to her biographer, she had had visions since childhood. She could see things that were not there.
I have been feeling a stronger turn toward the dark lately. Maybe I’ve been watching too much horror on TV. Just finished the second season of Penny Dreadful. Oh, how I loved it! Give me all the Gothic horror tropes, and I’m in heaven. Penny Dreadful even used my favorite ever, Dorian Gray.
Maybe it’s fall approaching. Maybe it’s just my having completely fallen in love with Shirley Jackson and seeing in it a sort of sign for guidance in my own writing career. I don’t know. Part of it it’s also accepting that it has always been there, lurching. I was almost shocked when someone described my first book as “dark”. I had never seen it that way, but I had to admit the assessment to be right. In spite of myself. Because what I wanted was a book that reflected a sense of optimism, as I was—at the time—that readers should be left with hope and a feeling that life is not all bad. Apparently I never succeeded and now I don’t mind is so much anymore.
I think from now on I’ll just give up and surrender to whatever darkness overcomes me. Why fight it? I am working on a full-blown Gothic story right now. Feels good.