Susan Hill’s books taught me how to effectively write spooky narrative but also how to convey the fear and the confusion that occurs in people when they are unsure of both their sanity and the reality around them.
She is very good at portraying self-denial of the senses whenever supernatural events occur and is very effective at sudden and fantastic twists in plot.
Susan Hill also taught me through her book “I’m the king of the castle” that you never know what is really going on in a characters mind, that sometimes things are just on the surface and the events that come through her books are often a shock even to the reader.
George MacDonald’s books taught me that you can play with uncomfortable ideas and he can do so in such a gentle way, that readers almost forgets what it is he is writing about subject wise. I remember reading his book Lilith and was surprised at how well he skirted around the religious sensitivities and turned this character almost into a fairy tale, he wrote about the dream state and life and death as though it was a beautiful journey and in some cases it can be.
Edgar Allen Poe is one of the main reasons why I love horror and poetry. I really love gothic culture and the macabre and he really explores the depths of human emotion really well, he was beyond his time. He didn’t portray the human condition in airs and graces, he put down the most rotten of all of humanity down on paper in all its rawness and left you feeling either numb or depressed right after you have read his works – but nonetheless it left you feeling in awe of his creativity.
He really showed me how to reel in my reader’s emotions and play to their hopes, dreams, dreads and fears.
He really knew how to play in the dark.