If you were to ask me if I write horror ten years ago, I would have said no. It would never have crossed my mind to write one. My first story was a historical fiction, though I must say, I wasn’t very good with the research part. Later on, I experimented with fantasy, but when that didn’t pan well with my sense of world-building skills, I thought for sure magic realism would be the one for me. It wasn’t until after graduating from Hamline that I discovered my one true love: horror.
So where did my love for horror come from?
I got used to my Dad watching shows like The X-Files, Tales from the Crypt, and Twin Peaks. My Mom introduced me to Anne Rice’s The Vampire Chronicles, and even bought my first novel, The Vampire Armand when I was thirteen.
I struggled to fit in with the kids in elementary school, so I retreated to my school library, reading ghost stories. To this day, I have a special place for the novel, Frankenstein, for it was the first horror novel I stumbled upon. I was fascinated with the monster, because I understood his isolation and anger. I knew too well what it was like to be shunned by the world.
I had a delightful English teacher at Rancho Bernando High who introduced us to horror short stories by Shirley Jackson, Lord Dunsany, Ray Bradbury, and my one true love, Edgar Allan Poe, for I couldn’t resist his beautiful tales of loss, death, and misery.
When I was sixteen, I moved to a small town called Douglas, Arizona. I rented horror movies all summer long from a local video rental store. I snickered at Freddy’s wisecracks. I couldn’t look away from Nosferatu’s tantalizing appearance. I even sympathized with Mrs. Voorhee, who only wanted nothing but the best for her son. I borrowed all (well, almost all) the books by Stephen King and stayed up to read them. I developed another literary crush on Neil Gaiman, a writer who wasn’t afraid to express his wicked sense of humor in his horror stories. My friend Paloma and I would make hilarious commentaries on horror movies (especially the really terrible 80’s horror movies. Man, are they great.) She even introduced me to Asian horror novels and films I was not familiar with.
It wasn’t until after Hamline I discovered how much horror has influenced me. It was a story that haunted me for a while, a story about a girl, her mother, and ghosts. After graduation, I finally found a day to sit down and write. It took me a month to finish my first draft, and it was as the stars aligned themselves. The more times I revised my current project, I learned something else about horror. Although we were so used to associating horror with gore, monsters, and supernatural forces, it could also mean facing your own personal wounds, the ones that keep coming back to haunt us no matter what we do in our lives.
During my fight with anorexia nervosa, I peeled off everything that made me human. I wasn’t myself as I obsessed with dieting and extreme exercising. I withdrew from everyone, hid myself from the world as I questioned whether I was truly a monster. And if I were one, how could I purge this being out of me?
When my ex-boyfriend committed suicide, everything around me fell apart. Nothing made any sense. People who claimed they were my friends ended up shutting me out of their lives, as if I was the one responsible for his death. They treated me like I was Frankenstein’s monster, who can neither be part of this world nor be allowed to express my true emotions, my own true self.
It all makes sense, doesn’t it?
But just because we have our own horror stories in our lives, it doesn’t mean there is no chance of seeing the light again. Horror novelists will always remind us that we can find our light just as long as we come to terms with our ghost stories.
Tashi’s life is anything but ordinary. She attended an elementary school in Singapore, a middle school in Thailand, and two different high schools in America: one in San Diego, the other in Douglas, AZ. She was pleased when she discovered a Graduate School that was exactly like Hogwarts when she attended Hamline University.
Aside from writing, she likes to read books (sometimes she cancels plans if a book was excellent), play video games, paint, attend Zumba classes, travel, go to comic cons, spend quality time with her cats, and dye her hair in obnoxious colors.
She currently lives in Seattle, WA, but misses the beautiful blue sky, mountains, Mexican food, and loved ones of Tucson, AZ.