Today I am welcoming Michelle Garza and Melissa Lason, otherwise known as The Sisters of Slaughter. I recently reviewed their Bloodshot Books title, Those Who Follow for IndiePicks Magazine.
I ask authors and contributors to tell me “Why I Love Horror” because it gives you, the library worker, a glimpse into the very different reasons of why people like horror. You can see all of these features using the Why I Love Horror tag later, but right now, you can read The Sisters of Slaughter's entry into the conversation.
Horror kids by Michelle Garza and Melissa Lason
Many might wonder as to how we came to love horror, all the frightening and dark things, our answer is quite simple…we were born to. From a very young age when other children dreamed of becoming astronauts, princesses, and pirates, we pretended to be monster-hunting archaeologists. We would wander the dusty stretches of our parent’s two-and-a-half acres in Arizona and play like we were digging up ancient civilizations and fighting the ghouls living in those forgotten cities. We had no idea what an archeologist was at that time, only that Indiana Jones seemed to have a good time exploring hidden temples and fighting bad guys. We wanted to enact the same adventures, but with creatures as our foes. Our minds were always drawn to spooky things, we fixated on witches, werewolves, zombies and vampires, and so all those imaginary monsters played roles in our little games of pretend. Our imaginations conjured up armies of them, dug them up, and brought them to life among the Creosote bushes and Palo Verde trees.
Our first Horror influence came from our mother. She loved old black and white horror and sci-fi movies and reading us scary stories from the library books we got to bring home from school. We are children of the desert and fall always meant so much to us being that it signaled the end of the dreadful summer days. Every year we anticipated Halloween more than Christmas because the weather would finally be cool enough to play outside and our mother always made us the best costumes and sweets. Some of our fondest memories came from Halloween celebrations at our house when we felt the seasons changing and the nights growing longer than our shadowed imaginations dared to venture.
We were drawn to storytelling by listening to our father tell ghost stories around campfires at night, the magic of his words and how they constructed worlds in our young minds was a power that never left us. We would also listen to our older brother read to us, usually Goosebumps books or Scary Stories to Tell in The Dark, it wasn’t long until we decided we wanted to write stories of our own. We were eight when we wrote our first book together; it involved a ghost and a werewolf on the moors. It was like opening a door for us, a portal to worlds uncounted, a place where anything was possible.
We continued to write, story after story, all of them dealt with monsters and darkness, and each one guided us through the turbulent times of growing up. Our taste in movies and books matured as well, stretching beyond the childish flicks like Ernest Scared Stupid and the relatively safe horror of childhood that Goose bumps offered to the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, American Werewolf in London, Stephen King and Clive Barker. The library became our temple, its tomes revealing to us both fictional and non-fictional accounts of darkness, mythology, lost civilizations, heroes and villains, it was our sanctuary of shelved doorways to other places and times. The years passed but our escape through writing remained just as strong as when we were little girls and here we are today, grown women, passing our love of horror to our children and glimpses of our imagination to those who pick up our books. We are proud to call ourselves Horror Kids and truly honored to have connected with so many others around the world.