By Jonathan.Janz On Jul 16 2012, 1:01 am
Because my new horror novel HOUSE OF SKIN features a terrifying female character, I’ve been thinking a lot about this question lately. Do men, despite all our bluster and muscle flexing and public genital adjusting, secretly fear that women have some awesome hidden power with which we can’t contend?
Before you laugh at the question, consider the fact that many of horror’s finest novels (like Peter Straub’s Ghost Story) have at their dark hearts the notion that a female spirit can be so powerful and so irresistible that a man can only huddle under his blankets and pray it won’t attack.
Not that I’ve ever done that.
Since many of you reading this blog are female, allow me to let you in on a few insider secrets that, because womenfolk are better organized as a gender than we are, you probably already know. But just in case you don’t…
1. Men are afraid of rejection. Since women hold the key to rejection or acceptance, we tremble at the thought of approaching you. Sure, I’m married now and haven’t approached a woman since my wife and I first met (I promise, honey! I love you! Please don’t hurt me!), I certainly remember how nauseous I used to get before picking up the phone to call a girl, before walking up to a woman in a bar, or before settling into a well-concealed place with my binoculars…
But I wasn’t kidding about the other parts. Men really understand very little about the female psyche, and because of that, I never knew whether I’d get the date with the girl or the drink thrown in my face.
2. Men are afraid of falling in love. Yeah, we want to fall in love, but we’re deathly afraid of being possessed by someone. It all goes back to the universal human need for control. When a man becomes emotionally consumed by a woman, he has no more control of himself than a drunk octogenarian has of his bladder.
In my horror novel HOUSE OF SKIN (on sale now!), men both desire a woman named Annabel and fear being possessed by her. If she rejects their advances, they’ll never fulfill their desire for her; far worse, if she chooses them, they’ll lose everything in the bargain—including their souls.
3. Lastly, men are terribly frightened of making women angry. And the fact that we’re blunderers by nature (often causing harm with the best intentions) makes the prospect inevitable: every man, at some point in his life, will incur the wrath of a woman.
But what if the wronged woman is no normal woman? What if she’s actually an ageless female spirit hell-bent on destroying every man she meets, generation after generation, century after century?
That’s my Annabel. She’s lovely, and she’s monstrous, and she’s waiting to meet you in my new novel HOUSE OF SKIN.