Tina Gunn, Screamstress
Extra! Extra! Scream all about it!
I've been under the spell of the strange and unusual since early childhood. When I was to be cast as Snow White in a community play, I eagerly pleaded to play the sinister, wicked witch instead. And when Halloween arrived each year, it was better than my birthday and Christmas combined.
I devoured the creepy books written by Alvin Schwartz, R.L. Stine and Lois Duncan—constantly testing how many monsters I could handle in my head.
When it came to horror movies, my eyes would be glued to the screen, in complete awe of the terror that I could later inflict on younger family members in the re-telling of the scary storylines (or... in singing them, as was the case with A Nightmare on Elm Street)...
"One, two, Freddy's coming for you. Three, four, better lock your door. Five, six, grab a crucifix. Seven, eight, gonna stay up late. Nine, ten, never sleep again." [Insert screams of crying cousins.]
As my love for the macabre grew into adulthood, horror came to mean more to me than just frights and scares. It also became a space where you could face personal demons, slaying monsters not so easily destroyed in real-life.
I consume horror because it deals with the what Carl Jung coined as the "shadow self"... the dark side of the personality we tend to reject or deny. I write horror to bring hidden shadows to light, to work through the waking nightmares and fears... and the deepest work is usually the darkest.