When my sister and I were very young we used to sneak out on a Friday night, long after mum and dad had gone to bed, and we’d watch the late night horror film. So began my early love affair with speculative fiction.
Now, back in the exact same surrounds, I find myself turning away from spec and I keep getting hit with non-spec fiction ideas. Perhaps it is the zoo that surrounds me each day that exposes me to the wonders of nature? Perhaps it is the replacement of horror movies with erotica on late night Friday TV (so I’m told, of course I don’t watch it), or perhaps I’m just finding enough dark and mysterious things in the known world as I get older?
I won’t lie, this non-spec writing thing scares me. For one thing, I don’t possibly know where I’ll sell it, for another; will all my friends assume the characters are them? It was easy with a serial killing alien to not offend anyone, but make a non-spec character blonde, and all my blonde friends will think it is them! Probably my brunette friends will as well; ‘she just changed the hair colour to cover it up.’
This could get messy.
So I’m trying to turn my back on this wave of normality and I will stare at those finches, and koalas, and lorikeets until somewhere in my brain a good horror story takes hold. Only then will I know I am cured.
In the meantime; does anyone know where to sell some non-spec, non-literary, non-chick-lit, non-genre short fiction? Yeah, me neither…