FOR A HORROR AUTHOR LIKE MYSELF, I'm always intrigued by the darker side of life, and I believe Friday 13th sits nicely in that slot. Considered the unluckiest day of the year, Friday 13th is widely hated, particularly in Western culture. I've never been quite certain of how this fear has grown. The number 13 itself is considered a very bad omen – some hotels omit floor 13, and fear of the number is so prevalent there is even a name for it: triskaidekaphobia.
Recent satistics listed online suggest that people go out of their way to avoid flying, shopping and going about normal routines on Friday 13th. Such is the legend of the cursed day that people don't trust they will be safe if they leave their homes.
I am someone who is open minded to the paranormal, and I believe I have experienced odd events in my life that touch upon the paranormal, but when it comes to Friday the 13th, I am a little more sceptical. As an author who enjoys exploring the dark, twisted and uncomfortable sides of life, I do keep in mind the social impact of Friday 13th, but I have never personally avoided leaving the house, or completing tasks because of it.
Superstition is an interesting aspect of culture. Have you ever broken a mirror and worried about a run of seven years bad luck? Do you avoid placing new shoes on the table? Would you be brave enough to open up an umbrella indoors? Although I do not neccessarily believe in the power of Friday 13th, I have to admit, I do avoid doing things that are considered unlucky. I would rather cross the road than walk under a ladder, and I do find myself trying to consider if I'm in for a bad time of it when I see dark crows in the garden.
If any of these things are truly going to bring us bad luck and be landmarks of a terrible omen, we'll never truly know. It is the mere possibility of it all being true that draws us in – and this is what I love about horror, in both film and literature. What is that dark thing under the bed? What is the knocking and tapping I hear late at night when lying in bed? Is the character really seeing ghosts, or is she hallucinating? The possibilities are endless, but the mystery is what drags us in and leaves us clutched to the story.
When writing Nails, it was precisely this that was on my mind. My character Carla goes through so much intensity in her new home, but is it the stress of moving home and her disintergrating relationship – or is there really something truly sinister going on? This was the catalyst for the story. The reader is taken on a journey with Carla. How long do we rationalise what we are going through? Do we accept what we see with our own eyes? How far can things go before we declare the impossible to be true?
Writing Nails was a lot of fun, and it reminded me of the legend of Friday 13th. Do we really know if there is something true behind the horrors we imagine – or are we merely victims of our own fear and natural psychology?
Whatever you believe, I wish you all a very safe and happy Friday 13th. If you choose to walk under the ladder and defy the legend of bad luck, let me know how it goes!
Date of Publication: 13th October 2015
Number of pages: 60 pages
Word Count: 25,000 (Novella)
Cover Artist: Atrtink
Carla Bracken knew she needed a change, a new start. Moving to Moorelands Close was supposed to be the beginning of something bigger and better, so when things start to take a sinister turn in her new home, she tries to explain it away.
However, she cannot ignore the mounting horror she experiences behind closed doors. What is the dark history behind her new home, and can she stop the unfolding terror in its tracks before it's too late?
About the Author:
Fiona is represented by Media Bitch Literary Agency, and is the author of three full length horror novels. She writes freelance for several paranormal magazines, including Supernatural Magazine and Paranormal Underground. She is a big fan of all things horror, and has studied Exorcism and Demonology. In her spare time, she attends paranormal investigations and works for a care charity. Her latest release, Nails, is now available on Amazon.