First and foremost, I just want to say that my parents are my biggest fans. They’ve supported me throughout my writing journey and have never criticized my decision to pursue the craft. If anything, they’ve been wonderful.
My father always wanted to be an author, and tells me (often) that he needs to try to get that first book done. I listen and smile, knowing intimately how hard it is to write an entire novel. There are so many distractions, life gets in the way, there’s a great movie on TV…and so on…
So, suffice it to say – my parents are great.
However, they are not allowed to read my books.
Well, let’s start with my mother. This is the woman who birthed me, bathed me, and watched me turn into a woman while trying to instill good moral values. She is a kind, smart woman who appreciates sports and family.
What she might not appreciate are things like horrific, gruesome death, terror, untamed sex (some of it harsh), and people going crazy and killing each other.
I can hear the conversation now:
Me: So mom, what did you think of The Zyne Project?
Mom: Well, it was very scary, but why all the gore and the sex? I think you need to write about nice things.
Me: Mom, it’s a horror novel.
Mom: Yes, I know. But nice things can happen in a horror novel. I think you should add something about all of the characters’ parents and maybe more about their dreams and hopes in life.
Me: Mom, that doesn’t really fit into the story.
Mom: I don’t understand why you’re fighting me. You never listen to your mother. Go to your room.
My father is another story. He would read the book and then want to discuss it, chapter by chapter, debating all of the issues. And to be honest – that just doesn’t sound very appealing to me. Particularly because some of the scenes involve sex.
Name one person you know who wants to debate a sex scene they wrote into a book…with their father.
I think you’re getting my drift.
Now, that isn’t to say my parents haven’t asked to read one of my novels. But it is a hard discussion to have because I am constantly dodging their questions about what the books are about. And that takes work. Here’s an example:
Dad: So, your mother tells me you’ve finished another novel. That’s great!
Me: Thanks, I appreciate that.
Dad: So, what is this one about?
Me: Umm…it’s about a clinical trial that goes horribly wrong.
Dad: That sounds interesting. Did you do a lot of research?
Me: Yes, dad.
Dad: Well, when am I going to get a chance to read it?
Me: Well, it’s in editing and will take a while. I’ll let you know.
I think by this point, my folks are starting to catch on and realize what is happening. The other day, my brother revealed that my father actually read an excerpt of one of my books on Amazon’s free preview and is looking forward to reading the entire novel.
Thankfully, the previews only have the first few chapters and none of my novels begin with the lead characters engaging in voracious sex while killing people at the same time (though that does sound interesting). In addition, my parents are “holding out” for the free copies from me as opposed to simply buying my books themselves.
So, I’m safe for now…
But it won’t last forever. And then, when I least expect it, they’ll be diving into The Zyne Project and my world filled with terrifying nightmares will be revealed.
My parents may never be the same again.
Excerpt from The Zyne Project:
The piano music mixed with the air. It sifted through the silence and danced amongst the invisible gentle winds that swept through the palatial mansion. Crystal glasses clinked in the distance, followed by laugher augmented by the blushing freeness of intoxication, while outside, warm breezes flowed freely through the palm trees and exited out towards the southern skies.
She walked quickly through the halls, her high heels clicking as they swept across marble floors. Gentle lights glittered from the chandeliers hanging overhead. As the door to her bedroom approached, she increased her pace, quickly reaching out to grasp the bronze door handle and escape inside.
But it didn’t look the same way to its owner.
Slowly, the woman began running her fingers through her hair, looking almost distracted as her vision seemed to glaze over. Sinking deeper into her thoughts, she furrowed her brow and began to push elegant fingertips through ebony hair.
As time quickly ticked by, she pushed her fingers harder and harder against her scalp until each motion was more of a scratch…
She began to pull her hair out. Piece by piece she continued yanking out strands, while scratching her scalp, causing it to bleed. Crimson, stained skin lodged itself under her fingernails as the act continued, again and again. She tugged and mutilated herself for twenty minutes until she realized that her 10-year-old son was standing in the doorway, watching.
“Mom, what are you doing? What are you doing?”
About the author:
Sara Brooke is a horror and suspense novelist living in South Florida. A lifelong avid reader of all things scary, Sara's childhood dream was to write horror books that force readers to sleep with their lights on.
Her first novel, Still Lake, was released Spring 2012.
Sara's influences and favorite authors include Bentley Little, John Saul, William Blackstone, and Joe McKinney.
For more information on Sara Brook and her books, visit her Amazon page.