Christine Rains has just released her amazing novella Fearless, which I can’t recommend enough. I just love Abby in this story. I want more! Here is the official blurb to get you tempted:
I’m letting Christine take over my blog today and talk about one thing that is close both of our hearts – monsters. Great to have you onboard Christine – the reins are all yours.
Thanks for having me here today, Tania! This is one of my favorite topics: monsters.
Whether it be the monster in the attic in the closet or the child-eating swamp dragon, monsters need more than just the BOO! aspect. That might startle the reader, but adding more substance to your supernatural beasts can make them feared and that draws the reader further into the story.
When we think of the monster in the closet or in the cellar, it’s not a specific creature that comes to mind. These fears originally came from tales of the bogeyman or bogey/bogel meant to frighten children into compliant behavior. Each culture, and even each child, has their own version of the monster.
I had a lot of fun coming up with the monsters in FEARLESS. They were born of the imaginations of children and fed off their fear. That meant they didn’t have to make sense to our rational adult minds. I could get a little silly, but I still had to make sure the monsters were frightening. I stuck to the legends that monsters only come out at night and the daylight eradicates them. Not only do the monsters torment children, but they eventually eat them too.
Each monster in my book is unique. They have their strengths and weaknesses. You need to consider this when you create creatures for your books. While the strengths are evident, sometimes the weaknesses are not. My protagonist and monster slayer, Abby White, must put herself in the mindset of whatever child spawned the beast. For example, one boy’s monster is a gigantic gorilla-like creature. It seems impervious to harm, but since the boy loves hats, it’s the monster’s hat that’s the weak spot. Knock off the hat and you can kill the monster.
It’s important to make sure your monsters are realistic. Give them a purpose. Are they simply wild animals attacking your hero or are they intelligent and have more devious plans? Even if the monster doesn’t have an agenda itself, its appearance needs to be integral to your plot.
Decide how they look and how they communicate. Do they have horns or antennae? A dozen small legs or a slimy long body with no limbs? Do they even have a mouth? Think about what scared you as a child. Draw on that primal fear no matter how ridiculous it might seem to you now as an adult. For example, many kids are afraid of clowns. You’d think with the bright colors and funny antics kids would love them, but clowns bring us down into the uncanny valley. They’re human but not quite natural, and thus cause revulsion and fear. A small twist to something we love can make it scary.
Build off creatures from folklore and legend. There are a lot of useful sites online where you can find information to inspire you, including Tania’s Mythology Manual. I get a lot of my inspiration from old myths. A little tweak here or there, or mix various monsters together, and you have a new creature to terrorize your characters.
Remember, monsters are a lot more than BOO! Have some fun and create a creature that gives you goosebumps. If you can do that, you give the same feeling to your readers, and they’ll enjoy the story all the more.
Official Launch Date: 7th August. It’s out now!
CreateSpace in print
Christine Rains is a writer, blogger, and geek mom. She has four degrees which help nothing with motherhood, but make her a great Jeopardy player. She lives in southern Indiana with her husband and son in a cozy little house stuffed full of books and games. She has sixteen short stories and one novella published, and three short stories forthcoming.
Where you can stalk her: