Definition: Serial Killer
noun: serial killer; plural noun: serial killers
- a person who commits a series of murders, often with no apparent motive and typically following a characteristic, predictable behavior pattern.
Definition: Horror Writer
noun: serial writer; plural noun: serial writers
a person who writes a series of murders, often with no apparent motive and typically following a characteristic, predictable behavior pattern.
My name is Lisa Vasquez, and I am a serial killer writer.
When people find out I am a writer it usually starts with a smile. A fascination with my craft that typically follows with, “I’ve always wanted to write a book.” I smile with polite tolerance and nod appropriately in response to their poking and prying into my work life with their over-personal questions. I find it somewhat offensive when someone digs in so far you wonder if you’re being audited by the IRS or if they are so unaware of how rude they are being.
“I’ve been told there’s no money in writing. You must be doing well.”
“Oh, you’re a writer? Are you on the best sellers list?”
“I’ve always wanted to write a book. I think I will write on this summer.”
Inwardly, I respond. Thanks, random stranger. You know, I always wanted to catheterize someone. I think I will become a Registered Nurse this summer. No, I’m not on the best sellers list but you knew that already, I appreciate the condescending tone coming from the downward slope of your thin nose. No. There’s not a lot of money to be made in it unless you work hard like any other career, craft, trade, and so on. You know what does make a lot of money? Selling organs on the black market.
Outwardly, it goes more like…”I’m a starving artist but it’s fulfilling and I can’t see myself doing anything else. I get to make my own hours, write what I know and love, and see my family. Oh, you flatter me! Not on the best sellers list, yet! Hey, wanna buy my book? Haha! You should write a book! I’m sure you’ve got a good story in you that needs to be told. Oh? An autobiography? Yes, you should write about your life. I’m sure a lot people will relate to your life and everything you’ve gone through.”
My favorite part of the conversation then makes its arrival.
“I’ve tried to write a book before. I just keep stopping or don’t have time. Got any tips for me?”
I smile and continue to try and hide behind my glass of wine or beer, or whatever hors devours I’m escorting around on a napkin. I’m using either to keep my mouth otherwise engaged so I don’t slip up and tell this stranger, “Yes you’ve just insulted me by calling out my minimal annual take home revenue, and snubbed the skill and devotion it takes to sit down and write 70-100k words. Words which not only go together but don’t put your audience to sleep faster than a sermon on Sunday. Absolutely! I want to tell you how to do my menial, unappreciated ‘job’. By all means, I’ll give you free mentoring and waste more of my time.”
No, I don’t say these things because it’s not worth it. Saying those things will do me no good in the long run.
“I’ll share with you the best advice I’ve been given,” I say, and they now they’re leaning in to hear words of wisdom they expect to come swirling out of my mouth like a zen riddle of enlightenment.
“Write what you see, do, experience every single day. If you write what you’re passionate about, the stories will be more engaging and appear more real to the audience.”
Their eyes like up. That’s it. You’ve been elevated to Yoda and Obi One all rolled up into a small, petite package. Eff Ghandi. You have inspired this human being in front of you to Amazon Best Seller Status!
“That makes so much sense!” they say and give your arm a touch.
This makes my eyes drop instantly to where they’ve made contact. I don’t like to be touched by strangers. When my eyes meet theirs again, invoking an uncomfortable moment of silence they laugh it off with a weak chuckle and look around before clearing their throat.
“So, I never asked you,” they continue, trying to smooth over and recapture the spark of conversation, “What do you write?”
Bingo. I’ve looped you in and now it’s time for me to make my profound exit.
“I’m a horror writer. I write a series about a woman who sneaks into parties and makes friends with strangers so she can stalk them. I’m sure you have heard about it. Oh, but if not I can email it to you. Do you have an email address? Or maybe I can come over? I’m free tonight after the party. I am really glad we met. We have so much in common and since my best friend died last month I have no one to talk to. No? Not tonight? Why not?”
And that’s it. I’m free to go about my mingling, or wall-flowering … whichever it is that night. They go on their merry way to tell everyone that I’m the freak and how much I scared them.
First one’s free, I think with a grin because I know it’s better than any business card money can buy. That person’s going home and Googling my ass off. And telling their friends, and their friends’ friends and co-workers…etc., etc.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: By design, Lisa Vasquez creates horror with vivid, dark, and twisted words and images that not only drags the reader in between the pages, but onto the covers that house them, as well. When she releases her grasp, readers are left alone to sort through the aftermath those images leave behind; each one becoming a seed that roots itself within the soft confines of their psyche. She takes this passion for writing horror and uses it to mentor other authors and volunteers as the Publisher’s Liaison for the Horror Writers Association. In January 2016, Lisa took her commitment to the next level and opened an independent publishing house, Stitched Smile Publications.
You can read Lisa’s work in several anthologies, or by purchasing her newly released novel, “The Unfleshed: Tale of the Autopsic Bride”. For more information and updates on Lisa’s work, you can find her at: www.unsaintly.com, Instagram (unsaintly), or Amazon.
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