Horror Writer, Sara Jayne Townsend
Today I’ve the great pleasure of inviting Sara Jayne Townsend to my blog. A fellow author at MuseIt Up Publishing, she’s also the first ever horror writer to post on my blog (excluding me: Though Leaving the Pack is kindasorta horror, given it’s about werewolves, I’d like to think my werewolves are not out to kill everyone who crosses their path – unless you cross them).
But everyone loves, horror, don’t they?
Apparently not. But I’ll let Sara tell you that story….
By Sara Jayne Townsend
Way back in the early 1990s, I went to a meeting at my local writers’ circle. I was in my early 20s. I was encouraged to go along to this group by someone I’d met at the amateur dramatics group I belonged to at that time. She was an older lady, which should have given me a clue, in hindsight, but at that time I didn’t belong to a writing group and I was prepared to give it a go.
I tagged along to their meeting, in the local library. The first thing that struck me was that I was the youngest person there. By about thirty years.
The meeting got underway, and it became evident to me that everyone else in the group wrote radio plays, historical fiction, romance, and the kind of gentle short stories that are published in certain women’s magazines. Some of the writers had forged quite successful careers for themselves, but I hadn’t heard of any of them. That should have been my second clue.
Everyone was initially terribly enthusiastic and very friendly, all saying how nice it was to see a young person in their midst, and they were in need of new blood, and so on. Then they asked me what sort of things I wrote.
“Horror”, I said cheerfully.
The room went silent. Noticeably. Then someone piped up nervously, “oh dear. We’ve never had one of THOSE before.”
Everyone gave me a wide berth for the rest of the evening, casting nervous glances in my direction and pointedly avoiding my eye. I began to think that perhaps everyone in the room was suffering from a collective deafness. Had they misheard me? When I said I was a horror writer, had they perhaps heard “I have leprosy”, or “I eat small children” instead?
Suffice to say that was the one and only meeting I attended. I was writing particularly sick horror stories in those days, and it didn’t take me long to work out that it would be a mistake to show this group any of my writing. I did not want to be responsible for the death by heart failure of the entire membership of the writing circle.
I am a horror writer. What I write may not be to everyone’s taste, but I’m proud of what I am. These days I find comfort in attending genre conventions, where I meet people of a similar mindset. Maybe polite society labels me a weirdo, but there’s a whole society of like-minded weirdos out there, and we are happy in each other’s company.
Sara Jayne Townsend is a UK-based writer of crime and horror, and someone tends to die a horrible death in all of her stories. She was born in Cheshire in 1969, but spent most of the 1980s living in Canada after her family emigrated there. She now lives in Surrey with two cats and her guitarist husband Chris. She co-founded the T Party Writers’ Group in 1994, and remains Chair Person.
She decided she was going to be a published novelist when she was 10 years old and finished her first novel a year later. It took 30 years of submitting, however, to fulfil that dream.
Learn more about Sara and her writing at her website (http://sarajaynetownsend.weebly.com) and her blog (http://sayssara.wordpress.com). You can also follow her on Twitter (https://twitter.com/sarajtownsend) and Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3500282.Sara_Jayne_Townsend), and buy her books from Amazon (UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B003QROE8S and US: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003QROE8S).