01 02 03 Amorina Rose Writes: Vampires, Sci-Fi, Fantasy and why I don’t write in these genres I think? Part 1 04 05 15 16 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 31 32 33

Vampires, Sci-Fi, Fantasy and why I don’t write in these genres I think? Part 1

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4th November 2015

The first thing I have to say is that I am blown away by the two ladies that join me on this blog.  I have said that we are all different and how much I enjoy that but now I find that underneath we are not so different and I am enjoying that more. 

     There is a commonality that drew us all together.  I like that this common thread existed in the past and brought itself to this present and hopefully the future to come.  Their influences are very strong hence identifiable because they come from some great books and films.  I can’t wait for them to get the accolades they deserve when their respective books are published.  It honours their influences.  You can see I believe in them but then why not because readers are so subjective, aren’t they?  I am a reader foremost. I like what they write and how they write it.  Do they write in my preferred genre? No they don’t but their work makes me want to read their genre.  See unlike them I wasn’t drawn to a type but to reading itself, and even now I don’t have a preference.

     Whilst Alison and Kay were slowly being pulled towards their path I was instead being influenced into being a reader and just a reader. It was never about what I liked, I just liked to read.  My father came to this country as a migrant and a great portion of that decision had to do with the lack of opportunity for education. In Italy mature age education was not and still isn’t an easy option.  Not to digress but I graduated with a Bachelor of Education at forty years of age, a thing my father would not have dreamed of as being possible. He didn’t live to see this which is sad but the story behind it is material for something I may use, or may simply tell you about one day.  It is extraordinary what we humans can do to provide resources to eventually become stories. 

     To continue, he valued reading above everything; saw it as the answer to everything.  He was right; he was seeking knowledge and knowledge is certainly an answer, just not to everything. At first he did try to control my reading or my knowledge gathering but after a while he was just glad I liked it so much.  Every fortnight I would go to the library and get books for him and books for me.  He introduced me to the Roman and then Greek gods and then I followed through with Norse and anything else I could find about mythical beings.  That same wonderful world opened up so many possibilities and got me into fiction.  The Paddington Library, Paddington, Sydney that is, became my own personal heaven and though fiction wasn’t his preference he allowed me this joy.  Yes, I said allowed.  My father had set ideas on many things and it wasn’t easy growing up. 

     By the age of twelve I had read just about every book in the junior fiction section.  My father had a library card as well and it was my job to bring home at least two books for him.  Not knowing English well two to three books lasted him the two weeks and let me borrow on his card.  While he read his three I was probably devouring five, six and more so borrowing on his card was god sent because I could start on the senior fiction books.  I just told them it was for my Dad.  He didn’t say much as long as I was doing well at school and happily bought the whole the more I read the better at school I would be and never thought to vet my reading matter. 

     I loved my family but I was so different to them and in fact often wished the people from outer space would come back and find me.  I was the original ET (my link to Kay) waiting for those strange creatures that accidentally forgot me on a planet that didn’t make much sense, to come get me.  Don’t get me wrong I did love my parents but the sky was an endless fascination as was magic.  My father though an avid reader didn’t have time for fiction and there was no-one to encourage my imagination into physical expression.  Yes, I had started a few scribbles by this stage but it is hard to do something that isn’t valued. My father had missed out in Italy on an education and he wanted to make sure his children didn’t and his rules to enforce this were quite rigid and confusing at times.  I was a girl so there was added pressure to behave a certain way.  I wasn’t allowed out with friends even to go across the road.  It was so ironic he trusted only family but that is a different story and not for today. It is enough to know I was allowed the library.

     So I kept reading but now I had discovered the supernatural, science fiction and fantasy (my link to Alison). It had started with wishing I was an alien waiting for rescue.  Then the scenario changed to what appeared a human (me of course) actually being an entirely different creature.  There was such a fascinating wealth of possibilities in these diverse worlds and creatures.  I was still scribbling, usually poetry and my teachers at school were rather fabulous and liked my writing and encouraged me but the thought of writing as a career hadn’t really occurred to me.  It was enough to read and write in my head.  The day would come when I would put it down and I never questioned this would happen but for now I had other problems.  The pressure to graduate and go to University was unbearable.  I felt like a prisoner and I guess I was.  I was allowed school and the library.  I did what I had done for so long I buried myself in books and the peace escapism brought allowed me to plan.  I would get a job and then when the next intake occurred I would join the Womens Royal Australian Army Corps.  Real life provides so much material, doesn’t it? Now is the time for my first vampire story. 

     At home my parents were set on their course for me of University and a law degree.  It didn’t matter what I wanted for me.  I had long put behind me my ET episode.  I was now seventeen and a grown-up but not having the power to decide for myself brought back the I wish I was an alien feelingsReading was a solace but action was better. It was time to put my plan into place. The minute school finished I found myself a job with Singer Australia located in Kent Street, Sydney. I was starting the following week.  I hadn’t told my parents the Army part.  Instead I made it seem like I wanted to save some money.  I often wonder what would have happened if I had simply told them the truth. I may have been less stressed.   

     That same week I started work the TV had a run on vampires.  I mean they were coming out of everywhere and some were pretty scary.  The ridiculous thing is the only vampire I remember when I think back on this incident is someone similar to Bella Lugosi saying ‘Darlink, I vont to drink yourrrr (roll on the ‘r’ as any good Transylvania knows) blood” in some movie, and then Caesar Romero (a very popular star of the day with a Spanish accent) making a guest appearance on a show called the Love Boat.  With the original screening of the Love Boat they would have intervals that included some comedy skits.  This same Spanish accented voice went to the blood bank in a black cape and asked if he could make a withdrawal.  Pretty funny, really, but talk about a series of events.

     I was reading some pretty gory supernatural, and was still a big fan of anything that had to do with outer space but my reading really was quite eclectic.  I never thought about what style I would choose although some of my poems were pretty dark.  By now you are asking how all of this fits together.  You would think I was primed to write in either of those two genres for a start, wouldn’t you? Alright I will get on with it. So Kent Street was near Clarence Street and Clarence Street was where the blood bank was located. I had to walk past it every day and every day of that particular week the vamps were on the TV in a variety of things and blood flowed liberally.  Also on was a rerun of “The day the earth stood still” (the original with Michael Rennie and a nice film); some other alien invasion thing; Twilight Zone was running; I was reading as I said some pretty hairy stuff; and don’t forget good old Caesar Romero wanting to make withdrawals courtesy of the Love boat but all was still well with the world. 

     Until the Friday night when I dreamed about the entire combination, woke up screaming (silently of course which is worse) only to find I had hung my dressing gown in such a way on the back of the bedroom door that it resembled a man in a black cape, not just any man but a vampire man.  I would love to go into flowing adjectival descriptions of my terror that night (I was frozen to the spot until daylight and trust me it was dark when I woke up) but needless to say I want to sleep tonight so I won’t.   The love affair with the world of ‘not this world’ was well and truly over but so was the desire to write except for the odd poem.  It just stopped.  I don’t know why but somehow it wasn’t my time, and for that period of my life neither was the supernatural unless it was about fairies and Mr Spock on Star Trek.


Stay tuned for Part 2 but be warned if may be a lot of waffling like this has been before we get to the why Vampires, Sci-Fi, Fantasy and why I don’t write in these genres I think?  Let me know if you want me to stop.  Ha, like I will listen!

A piu presto

Barb

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