I write fantasy. I write occult(ish). I write psychological and complex. I write florid. I write damning. I write heresay and blasphemy.
Demons aren’t inherently evil. Boom. Five thousand Good Christian Souls just exploded. Not only are they not inherently evil, but they’re driven the exact same way as people. In fact, if one ignores their apparent immortality and seemingly endless amount of power (and restriction by God, if we’re diving Christian), they’re people, too. (Awesome shirt idea: Demons are People Too)
The Catholic Church says demons are evil. I won’t disagree. The Catholic Church of two hundred years ago wouldn’t agree. Times change. Things change. This isn’t a blog about the complicated nuances of religious evolution. This is a blog about the awesomeness that is “occult” fantasy.
I have a dirty little secret. I absolutely love Dresden Files. At least the first five. Love. Obsessively. In fact, I even tried my hand at writing Dresden-esque fantasy. The TWO finished novels are waiting another dustoff. It’s delicious. It doesn’t fit with my writing style (see previous post on antagonists). If I were to put the top five influencial writers for my writing inspiration, I’d have to put Dresden among them. And Lovecraft. And the Bible–all of its works, even the apocryphal. And Faulkner. Maybe Jung, or Dante, or Koontz, but they’re something else entirely.
Gothic writing is making a comeback, albeit with a more sparkly exterior: vampire novels are all the rage. Everyone loves them. Harry Potter’s all the rage, with it’s quaint british stylized quirkiness. Gothic got a makeover, and it’s now mainstream. And not gothic, really, except for the premise. But it came from the gothic.
Which makes me wonder if I’m going against the grain with my incessant need to write psychologically dark books. Not horror. Not slasher. Not gratuitous drugs, violence, and sex like Mr. King. But dark. Dream-like and confusing. Complicated. I’m writing something that was all the rage in the ’60s (or never the rage at all?). I’m 50 years too late.
Or am I? Religion is alive and well. In fact, it’s becoming more alive and more well given the political turmoil and rotten economy. The extremists are coming out of the woodwork, saying they’re experts on the subject of God and what Jesus wanted and how there’s a war going on between Jesus-lovers and everyone else…
Epic, perhaps. Someone (or a lot of someones) wants an epic war. Thousands of books, written and lost, create an unfurnished box from which to draw endless inspiration, while the seeds are already planted in this community’s mind.
I want a resurgence of American Gothic. AmeriPsychiGoth. I don’t know if that even exists, but people are writing on the edge of it. Unfortunately–and this is something I’ve touched on before–I think people are afraid to write about Christianity, and moreso, people are afraid to publish people who write about it in fear of alienating too much of the populace.
But I digress. Studying Solomon’s Lesser Key or the Book of Judas or Jung’s Red Book doesn’t make me some kind of Satanist, although I’ve heard powerful arguments from Satanists that I am (in a good way. Wow. I can’t believe I just said that). I feel there’s an untapped resource here, in this environment, that would allow for a powerful writer to emerge. I’m not sure if I’m that writer–I spend too much time writing to the general population–but perhaps I should be pursuing that direction: dark and poetic, psychic and psychological, aggressive and complicated.
I think I will.