Sandra Harris writes fiction, poetry and movie reviews. For Horror Addicts Guide To Life Sandra wrote an article called How Hammer Horror Changed My Life. In her article Sandra talks about how being a fan of Hammer Horror and finding a community of like minded fans led her to be a writer. To read Sandra’s article along with several other articles on living the horror lifestyle, pick up a copy of Horror Addicts Guide To Life.Recently Sandra was nice enough to tell us what he likes about horror:
What do you like about the horror genre?
I came to worship at the altar of the horror genre late enough in comparison to those who were born suckling at its unholy teat. For most of my life, I was timid and nervous and I thought that books and films featuring bloodsucking vampires, devils (horny or otherwise), demons, zombies, witches, boogeymen and other fearsomely ghoulish beasties that routinely go bump in the night were not for me. I felt excluded from them, if you want to know the honest truth. They were for other, braver people, not for wimps like me.
During Halloween of 2013, however, egged on by a friend, I watched my first-ever HALLOWEEN movie featuring the impassive, white-masked villain, Michael Myers. I followed this up with a short season of Hammer Horror films during Christmas of 2013. A sort of transformation took place within me. I loved what I was seeing. I was hooked. I then watched scary film after scary film, read creepy book after creepy book, and by the summer of 2014 I was a fully-fledged horror addict. Not as knowledgeable, maybe, as the folks who’ve been at it for years and years, but hopelessly addicted, nonetheless.
This brings me to the question: What do I like about the horror genre? Well, I don’t just like, I positively, absolutely flippin’ love the freedom it’s brought me to be a whole new person. I’m no longer Sandra Harris, film and book addict but one, sadly, who’s too afraid to open that one last door marked HORROR and take a walk on the dark side. I’m now Sandra Harris, film and book addict who’s free to walk anywhere she damned well pleases, thank you very much. Even places that stink of fear and death and despair and have icky cobwebs that get stuck in your hair and tubes of lotion that it must put on its skin so it doesn’t get the hose again… (Movie quote. Look it up!)
I feel so freeeeeeeeeeee…! I feel as liberated as someone who’s managed to cast off the tight, confining, ill-fitting, even slightly itchy brassière of timidity and lack of confidence and is now running topless, knockers bouncing deliriously in their much-welcomed, new-found freedom, straight into the abandoned murder house or deserted shopping mall of a thousand of my nightmares. Did there have to be boobs in that analogy? No, I guess not, but it just seemed apt, somehow. Don’t steal my analogy, by the way. I’ll be copyrighting it before you can say lift and separate…
Don’t get me wrong, I’m still a baby in horror terms next to the people who can watch someone stab someone else in the ear with a pencil and think it’s mild and tame compared to some other stuff they’ve seen. I have friends who tell me fondly that I’m a newbie who’s still only studying HORROR 101 in the University Of Life and that I must serve a long and gruesome apprenticeship before I can call myself a true horror addict. That’s okay with me. I’ll serve my apprenticeship. I’ll do the time. And I’m pretty sure I’ll enjoy every minute of it.
I love that the horror genre challenges me every day to push myself, to find and push right on past my boundaries. I think it helps me to be more open-minded. I’ve watched, read, written and even published things since discovering the horror genre that wouldn’t have even seemed possible a few years ago. In the last six months, I’ve published two books of horror film reviews and an erotic horror novella based on Christopher Lee’s smoulderingly sexy performance as Count Dracula in the Hammer Horror DRACULA films. Does that sound to you like the Sandra Harris of a couple of years ago? Well, you don’t know me all that well so you probably couldn’t say either way. But I know me, and I can tell you that it doesn’t sound like me in the slightest. It’s the me of today, though. And I love, love, love the new me.
What are some of your favorite horror movies, books or TV shows?
I adore Stephen King. He truly is the King Of Horror. My goal is to one day be able to say that I’ve read all of his books and mean it. As he’s written, like, a bazillion books, I reckon there’s enough material there to keep me going until I’m one-hundred-and-ninety-five years old. I’m incredibly jealous of his tremendous output and productivity. Actually, in the time it took me to write this he’s probably written two novels, three novellas, a book of short horror stories and the film script for a movie adaptation of one of his books, so I guess you’d better make that one-hundred-and-ninety-eight years old…
I also adore horror anthologies. Yes, exactly like the incredibly special and excellent one recently produced by horroraddicts.net, haha! I particularly love ones that contain stories about haunted houses but, generally speaking, any good spooky tale of the macabre will do.
Film-wise, I’ve been watching movies lately like THE AMITYVILLE HORROR (1979) and AMITYVILLE 2- THE POSSESSION (1982) and they’re so brilliant and scary that I think I might like to watch a few more films in this vein, especially if the evil is originating from a haunted house with a severely troubled past, as in the aforementioned two films or even in POLTERGEIST (1982), which is another good one. I want to watch a few more episodes of TALES FROM THE CRYPT as well, a terrific scary half-hour television show hosted by the pulchritudinously-challenged Crypt-Keeper. (Pulchritudinously? It’s a word, look it up….!)
In what way do you live the horror lifestyle?
Well, naturally, I sleep for most of the day in my special self-assembly coffin from Swedish furniture giants IKEA. It’s pretty comfortable and well-equipped with all the knick-knacks, doo-hickeys and whatchamaycallits required by any self-respecting wanna-be vampire (I’m a wanna-be vampire, by the way), including DVDs of the entire TWILIGHT saga and easy-to-open sachets of fake blood. I don’t get up until the sun goes down and then I begin my night by bathing assiduously in the blood of virgins, or at least I used to until virgins became harder to find than… well, than a thing that’s actually quite hard to find. Nowadays, I just use a nice moisturising soap that doesn’t dry the skin or leave me smelling like a compost heap.
I spend most nights moping around my local graveyard, writing gloomy gothic poetry, arranging myself artistically across the graves and getting to know one or two of the transients who congregate there by night to chat and smoke and drink and just generally shoot the breeze. They’re actually a pretty good bunch and we have a high old-time together. Some of the local residents have gotten up a petition against us, claiming that we make the place look untidy with the debris from our human sacrifices, orgiastic apocalyptic-style sexual free-for-alls and takeaway snack-boxes from Luigi’s Late-Nite Chipper across the street, but we don’t care. We figure life is for living, right…? Or, as in my case, being Un-Dead…
I nip back to my coffin before the first rays of sun can illuminate the logo on Ned The Knife’s Tesco Bag-For-Life, I grab the eighteen hours beauty sleep essential to keep my skin looking smooth and Un-dead, and then the whole glorious hoop-la can begin all over again…
What are you currently working on?
In January 2015, I published Book One of what I call my ANNA MEETS COUNT DRACULA trilogy. It’s an erotic horror novella that tells a scandalously saucy tale of sex, spanking and vampirism in Victorian England. It’s based on legendary horror actor Christopher Lee’s performance as Dracula in the Hammer Horror films of the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s and its tremendous fun to write. I’m working on Book Two of the trilogy at the moment, so hopefully I’ll be ready to publish it well before the end of 2015. Book Three should then appear in 2016. Fingers crossed…!
Where can we find you online?
- Here are all the links to my email, Facebook Page and Twitter profile, my blogs and my published e-books:
MY OWN SELF-PUBLISHED E-BOOKS.
THE DEVIANTS: A NOVEL.
ANNA MEETS COUNT DRACULA: AN EROTIC HORROR NOVELLA.
FIFTY FILTHY-DIRTY SEX-POEMS YOU MUST READ BEFORE I DIE: ADULT POETRY.
FIFTY REALLY RANDOM HORROR FILM REVIEWS TO DIE FOR: NON-FICTION.
ANOTHER FIFTY REALLY RANDOM HORROR FILM REVIEWS TO DIE FOR: NON-FICTION.