Ginger Nuts of Horror
“Darkness, imprisoning me, all that I see, absolute horror!”
My book, The Darkness of the Womb, is about a pregnant mother who journeys into her unborn child’s subconscious to prevent him from miscarrying himself. A lot of people always say, “Wow, where the hell did you get that idea from?” and I always answer with, “Uh, I don’t know. Lots of places.” Which is the honest to God truth. So many different things have left an impression on me growing up that it’s really difficult to pinpoint just where I get my inspiration from when I write a book. Let’s just say I get inspiration from everywhere.
Music, for instance, takes me to strange, bizarre places that I would never get to on my own. That line above in the title, for instance, is from Metallica’s song, “One,” which has always been a personal favorite of mine. Both the song and the video are about a soldier who stepped on a landmine. He winds up losing all of his limbs and the ability to speak or see, and that blew my mind as a child. Growing up, I constantly thought about what it would be like to be trapped inside my own head forever with no way of telling anybody how terrible it is to exist in such a debilitated, helpless state. That really resonated with me.
Comic books did, too, as I read a whole lot of them growing up. My favorite was The Maxx, which was a trippy story concerning spirit animals and repression and a whole lot of other philosophies and ideas that rocked me to the core. It didn’t hurt that the actual character of The Maxx was probably the coolest looking, purple tight wearing freak to ever appear on the front of a comic book cover ever. Spawn be damned!
TV has also made a huge impact on me. When coming up with the idea of being trapped in one’s own mind, the final season of The Sopranos was going on. In it, Tony had been shot by his uncle and put into a coma. Once in the hospital, he was forced to wander around inside his own mind on a sort of existential journey. That idea—a quest within one’s own self—really impacted my story in a major way, which had started off as a simple werewolf tale. Over the years, it expanded and changed according to what was going on in my life, and it just goes to show that inspiration comes from all over the place. No man is an island, and no single idea exists without help. Remember that.
Before life and after death, we exist in the Internal Landscape. It is here where the unborn decide if they want to be born or not. It is also here where the deceased battle their past regrets in the form of monsters in order to find peace in the afterlife. It is a violent, horrifying world where one can die a second death and slip into eternal darkness if they let their past regrets defeat them.
Enter soon-to-be-mother, Marigold Haunt. She has wanted a child her entire life, and finally gets her wish at the age of 49. But after an accident, Marigold is pronounced brain dead (even though her body still lives). Ending up in the Internal Landscape, Marigold's journey toward fate begins. She is guided by the avatar of Instinct who protects her from the monsters manifested from her past regrets. But when she finds out her unborn child doesn’t want to be born, she decides to risk eternal darkness for the small chance of convincing her child to live.