Tina Gunn, Screamstress
I've been under the spell of the strange and unusual since early childhood. 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—later progressing to Stephen King, Anne Rice and H.P. Lovecraft just as puberty was kicking in.
Additionally, I had unsupervised access to horror movies, my eyes glued to the screen through parted fingers in complete awe of the terror that I could later inflict upon friends in recounting the scary storylines. And when Halloween arrived each year, it was better than my birthday and Christmas combined.
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.