Friday, October 16, 2009


I love Halloween. The changing leaves, the cooler weather, jeans and sweaters. I love huddling in my office on a gray day to write with the cats snuggled in their chair.

I love that it's okay for kids to dress as demons and ghouls and carry bloody knives and get candy. Sure I love a cute little fairy or adorable cowboy. But the kid dressed in black with his face made up like something out of Fangoria always gets two treats from me. I was blessed with parents who didn't balk at a steady diet of Stephen King, Sam Raimi and Universal horror movies.
Maybe the most influential person in the early development of my love of all things paranormal and horror was Dr. Shock. Dr. Shock was really a magician named Joseph Zawislak who hosted a show on Philadelphia's WPHL-TV. (For more info, check out But to me, he was master of ceremonies for a fright-filled Saturday afternoon.

Dr. Shock introduced me to Larry Talbot, Dracula, The Mummy, The Creature from the Black Lagoon and too many other nightmares to name. And I loved them all.

I cried when they shot Larry Talbot in "The Wolf Man" and chased Frankenstein with pitchforks and fire. I wanted Dracula to finally find a bride. I had a huge crush on Roger Corman and Tom Savini (George Romero's incredible FX man). Okay, I was kind of a weird kid.

But the emotion and the yearning inherent in these great old films is what I love about writing paranormal romance. In PNR, the so-called monster finds love and gets the girl (or the guy) in the end. They may be hunted and feared by others but their differences, their gifts, have made them strong, powerful and capable of an understanding so-called normal people just don't have.

Dr. Phibes is distraught at the loss of his wife. In most of the Corman-produced films based on Edgar Allen Poe stories, love is what pushes the horror plot. Hell, all the Mummy wants is to be reunited with his lover.

In PNR, we get to give the so-called monsters their happily-ever-after. And after the trouble we've put them through, don't they deserve it?


Judi Fennell said...

I remember him!!!

But I got my Frankenstein and Dracula from Abbot & Costello - could be why I write my paranormals with humor in them! :)

Stephanie Julian said...

Hated those! But you knew that already, didn't you? I love my angst.

Rebecca J Vickery said...

Hi Stephanie,
Thanks for the invite to drop in. I love those old horror movies and I too was pulling for Larry/Werewolf. I grew up watching Shock Theatre, Inferno, and Twilight Zone. My love for the werewolf was rekindled vigorously when David Selby appeared in Dark Shadows. So I think wolfmen are still my all-time faves in the monster department. Thanks for the walk through memory lane and keep those paranormals coming.

Stephanie Julian said...

Rebecca, thanks for stopping by.

I LOVED Dark Shadows. I watched it every day after school with my babysitter. Great show.

Carolyn Matkowsky said...

Hi, Steph,

I remember Dr. Shock. I confess that vampires scare me. I watched an old, old movie, "Dracula's Daughter," when I was little. Scared me to death. I couldn't watch vampire movies after that, or read vampire books. I like werewolves who morph into real wolves, like the character in my as yet unsold werewolf paranormal. I think real wolves are beautiful. I don't like the Lon Chaney type werewolves where he was just a very hairy man.

I like witches too, not the evil one like in Wizard of Oz. Sexy witches.

Great post.

Carolyn Matkowsky/Cara Marsi

Stephanie Julian said...

I love sexy witches. I love to write sexy witches! They're so much fun. And sex magic is too cool. Thanks for stopping by.