I want to start this post off by thanking Sadie—not only for everything she does for the horror community but for everything she’s done for me personally. My family doesn’t read my books. I tweeted something about that on Twitter once and Sadie picked up a copy of my YA horror novel BLOOD AND WATER. She continues to support me and advocate for me and I cannot say enough good things about her, but that doesn’t mean I’ll stop trying. Anyway, Sadie, I love you, and thank you so much for inviting me to write a post for your Patrons and Night Worms!
When it comes to books, I’ve been reading and writing for as long as I can remember. From an early age, I devoured any writing I could get my hands on. I read chapter books years ahead of my peers—much to my mother’s disdain. At first, she tried to read the books before I got to them to make sure they were age-appropriate. Quickly, she realized she couldn’t keep up—which led to me reading my first Stephen King novel at eleven years old. Oops.
Between my love of reading and my grandfather’s penchant for storytelling, writing seemed a natural fit for me. I understood the value of stories and couldn’t wait to make my own. The stories I wrote throughout my childhood and adolescence weren’t necessarily horror, but they were dark. When I let people read them, they were horrified. They didn’t understand how I could like such grisly things.
Because I was young and insecure as a creator, in the beginning, I took their critiques to heart. I locked the dark parts of myself away and tried to write anything else. In college, I vowed to get serious about writing. I majored in English, concentrated in creative writing, and stifled my instinct to deviate from the literary fiction my professors encouraged us to write. In the process, I burned myself out.
It wasn’t until I was out of college, had moved away from home, and had gotten my first “real” job that I let myself have fun again. After my grandfather’s death, I turned to writing as an outlet for my grief. I drafted a young adult horror novel BLOOD AND WATER. It wasn’t amazing, but it was mine, and I’m so grateful to that novel for starting my career. After that, I dabbled in contemporary fantasy for a while, but it wasn’t enough. It didn’t satisfy me. I was writing what I thought would sell—what I thought people wanted—rather than what I wanted. Once again, my heart just wasn’t in the writing.
Last November for NaNoWriMo, though, I let myself have fun. I threw myself into a horror play about a paranormal vlogger out to hit one million subs with a dark web mystery box. I had the time of my life writing UNBOXED, and it comes through in the finished product.
Horror raised me, gave me life, and I’m indebted to it. Nothing makes me feel more “me” than writing something spooky. I never would have gotten here were it not for the horror community. Reviewers and other authors have bolstered my confidence and supported me so much along my journey, and I don’t think I’ll ever stop feeling grateful and humbled. I strive to live up to the excellent examples of my peers, including formidable women in horror like Sonora Taylor, Gemma Amor, Hailey Piper, and V. Castro. I feel honored to know these women and privileged to align myself with them.
Right now, I’m working on polishing a short horror collection called THE TRICKER-TREATER AND OTHER STORIES. I had so much fun writing it and I can’t wait to share it with the world this fall! Here’s the synopsis:
"The Tricker-Treater is gonna stop by your house tonight. You gotta meet with him and do what he says, or else."
A woman agrees to take part in a creature's sick game to save the child she loves. A girl and her mother move into a nightmare house. A man makes the wrong plans for his bachelor party.
In this haunting collection, Briana Morgan shares stories of love, loss, and horrors both real and imagined.
You can add the book on Goodreads here, and help bring it to life via Kickstarter. The project is fully funded, and additional funds go toward my future writing and publishing endeavors. If you want more work from me in the meantime, you can get weekly installments of my vampire novella MOUTH FULL OF ASHES for $1/month on my Patreon. You can also follow me on Instagram and Twitter.
Thanks again for having me, Sadie!