This week, I’ve had the pleasure of spending some time with a wonderful bunch of engineers. I’ve been collecting their souls…er…I mean taking their pictures…and talking to a lot of people outside of my normal realm of reality. I’ve seen them sitting in meetings, eating meals, socializing, and riding roller coasters. They’ve seen me….taking pictures and wandering aimlessly. On occasion, conversations start. Usually they begin with a comment on the convention or my camera. Sometimes, they escalate to the quality of shots I may or may not be getting. A few conversations have led to questions about employment. I’m here to take pictures, but this is a sideline for me. I don’t even have business cards for this part of my life even though I know I should. What I do is write fiction…mostly horror fiction. And when I say that, it hasn’t failed to at least garner a double take. Sometimes, the truth elicits a nervous giggle. But it always brings about the question, “Are you serious?” If they only knew what lurks in my head….
But seriously, what do most people think a horror writer looks like? Do we all have humps on our backs, limps, and twitching eyelids? Are we supposed to drag blood-covered axes around with us? Do we all dress exclusively in black and frown away every moment of our lives? I’m sure some horror writers may fit parts of those descriptions, but I don’t usually resemble any of them….except for an occasional limp and twitchy eye. But I’d be willing to say that most of us resemble at least semi-“normal” people. And as with books, cream-filled cupcakes, and birthday presents, it’s what’s inside that counts.
Still, it has been a great week with wonderful people. I can’t say I haven’t enjoyed surprising some with what I do. In fact, it’s been one of my favorite parts of the trip (the woman on the plane was priceless…she HAD to have the window seat). I doubt I’ll ever get tired of seeing a look of shock and hearing the words, “but you look so normal.” So just remember, that average looking woman on the bus who looks more like a librarian than a lion tamer, she could be up to something whether you suspect it or not. And what exactly does a lion tamer look like anyway?