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Surely you knew we weren’t going to get very far into October and honoring horror and fantasy without mentioning the master of the macabre, right? Well, you were correct, so today Christina fills us in on her relationship with Edgar Allan Poe. “The Cask of Amontillado” still ranks as one of my favorite short stories, but I’ll probably revisit my book of Poe this October just to make sure.
Deep in Edgar Allan Poe
I’ve heard writers talk about what they read growing up. Like, how at ten they found a dusty copy of War and Peace and never looked back. Or musicians, when interviewed, say they started listening to really cool, obscure blues singers at seven and knew they’d make music like that one day. I wasn’t like those people. I read Judy Blume and The Babysitters Club, and didn’t fall in love with anything deeper until college. At least I knew how to fake it though.
I grew up with an old Edgar Allan Poe book of short stories that sat on the built in bookshelves of our living room amongst the Encyclopedia Britannicas and Guidepost magazines. I assume my mother purchased it as part of a box set of books from one of the frequent garage sales she rummaged through on weekends. I also assume the rest of that box was filled with Danielle Steel romances, and the Edgar Allan Poe was an unexpected find that landed on our bookshelf.
When I was around twelve I picked it up and began reading “The Tell-Tale Heart.” I was pretty bored by it due to being a shallow seventh grader, and thought the main guy needed to chill out. But I read on, because I was trying to be deep, digging Poe and all. I’d mention it to friends in passing. “Oh, that totally reminds me of that Edgar Allen Poe story I just read…”
Now that October is upon us and my neighbors have put their ceramic pumpkin on the front porch, it made me think of ole Edgar Allan Poe again and his grim stories. I hope all the skeletons hanging from trees and tombstones in front yards encourage you to try something new with your writing. Throw in a scary scene, or write a whole thriller. And maybe some twelve year old will start referencing your book when trying to look deep in front of her friends.
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