05-26-18 – Blog Queen - Sarah Raplee

Monday, October 3, 2016

I Don't Read Scary by Paty Jager

October is the month lots of people love to see come around. They enjoy the making of scary costumes and staging scary scenes for Halloween.  I've always enjoyed the dressing up, but I don't do scary.

As a child the abominable snowman from Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer scared me. I couldn't watch the show when he came on. I can't watch any scary movies or read scary books. These days the commercials for the scary movies I close my eyes. I can't watch them without being scared senseless and having bad dreams.

I'm reading a mystery book right now that I had to put down because it was getting too scary for me. And it wasn't bad, but there is someone creepy living in a house and the main character is about to run into them and I couldn't keep reading. My heart was racing and my brain shut down. This isn't the first mystery book I've had to stop reading. There have been several over the years., The first one was by Ruth Rendell. I'd enjoyed several of her books until that particular one where she went into the mind of the serial killer and I couldn't be there. Even though I'd only read a little bit of it, I had nightmares for a couple of weeks. And this from a person who seldom even dreams.

I had a friend question how I could write a scene in one of my books given there were so many things in others books that scared me. (I'd critiqued her thriller for her and had to stop a couple of times and remind myself of the theme she was portraying and then I could go on.) I guess when I'm writing it, my mind knows it isn't real, but when I read scary, I'm tossed right in the middle of it.

Being scared is mind-numbing, heart-racing, and makes me feel out of control. I HATE being scared. My son loved to hide and jump out at me at all times of the day and from all kinds of places because I would screech and take what felt like forever to get my breathing back to normal. The only time I ever cussed out a child was when the two teen-aged neighbor boys put snappers in the cab of the tractor we used to feed the cattle. They were trying to play a trick on my husband and didn't realize I was the one who would open the door and what sounded like firecrackers go off. It scared me so bad, when I could breathe, I started shouting how I was going to catch those little so-and-so's and they were going to be sorry. I said this to my husband not knowing the boys were hiding behind some bales. Hubby started laughing and pointing and all I saw were the backsides of two boys running like their feet were on fire!

I've never read a Stephen King. I've never watched the Exorcist or any of the scary shows that are on T.V. My mind can't take it and I know this about myself. Before I started writing, my mind would put my family and loved ones in such scary situations that I'd have to call to make sure they were okay. Now that I write and my imagination has a constructive playground, I worry much less.

You would think with this aversion to scary I wouldn't read paranormal. But I love to read about what most call fantasy, witches, spirits, shapeshifters, but I can't read the dark paranormal of vampires and werewolves.

How about you? Do you like the scary books? Do you read dark books or light ones?

If you'd like to see me in person and try to scare me, ;) I'll be at the InD'Scribe Reader Con October 7th through the 9th. They have panels and I'll be set up signing books from 2:30-5:30 Friday and Saturday. Come by and say "Hi!"

Paty Jager is an award-winning author of 25+ novels and over a dozen novellas and short stories of western historical romance, action adventure, and murder mystery. She has garnered a RomCon Reader’s Choice Award for Contemporary Western Romance, and an EPPIE Award for Best ContemporaryRomance. All her work has Western or Native American elements in them along with hints of humor and engaging characters.

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Sarah Raplee said...

I prefer lighter books but occasionally I read a really scary one. I don't like serial killer stories much, although I've read a few.

My own stories are a mix of lighter paranormal romance and suspense with plenty of humor. Although the suspense plot will be somewhat dark, the tone is more like action-adventure.

Paty Jager said...

Hi Sarah,

I'm glad I'm not the only one who prefers not to read scary. Thanks for commenting.

Judith Ashley said...

I'm with you, Paty. I have nightmares for what seems like forever. I also close my eyes when the trailers for that type of movie or t.v. show comes on. What's also interesting, is that I don't usually remember my dreams either (I do believe the research that says we all do dream whether we remember them or not).

Of course horror, thriller and dark paranormal and suspense are automatically off my reading list but another scary theme I can read but often have nightmares from are stories with graphic rape scenes and graphic domestic violence scenes. In writing the DV in "Diana", I had to take frequent breaks. The same was true with the one rape scene in "Hunter" and it was not told as a violent rape.

Thanks for a thoughtful post! Enjoy the InD'Scribe Reader Con!

Genene Valleau, writing as Genie Gabriel said...

I don't like scary/dark either. When my kids were younger, going to the movies was our special treat. If there was a scary part, I'd close my eyes. Then my kids would whisper when it was over so I could continue watching the movie. LOL! I'm sensitive to energy and scary gives off really bad vibes for me that I don't want in my energy field.

Paty Jager said...

Judith, There are times I think I'm the only one who doesn't like the scary movies and shows. I had to quit watching Criminal Minds because I started having nightmares from watching it. Thanks! I plan to enjoy myself at InD'Scribe Reader Con!

Hi Genene! I was lucky my kids don't like the scary stuff either. ;) It's good to hear from you!