When M.R. asked me to write a posting about what Halloween means to me, at first I was stymied. Anybody who knows me knows that I am a certified Monster Kid, and have been as far back as I can remember. I live, eat, and sleep this stuff. Most people wake up from a nightmare and turn on a light to drive the demons away; I wake up and jot down the details for my next short story. However, this year Halloween means something more to me.
Let me explain. Several years ago, shortly after the publication of The Vampire Hunters, I received a message from a young lady who had read the book and wanted to tell me how much she liked it. She was from Florida and, at the time, I lived in northern Virginia. We struck up a conversation, and during the course of time this young lady mentioned that she was writing her own vampire novel. I volunteered to read it, and provided her honest and critical feedback.
As time went on, this young lady and I became good friends. She agreed to be one of my beta readers. We exchanged plot ideas, and would review sections of each other’s work that were causing us problems. As time passed, we discovered that we also had similar interests. We both loved vampires. We were both fans of World War II history. We both loved it when you mixed vampires or zombies with Nazis. And we both had a twisted sense of humor.
Even more important, this young lady offered me comfort during a very difficult time in my life. She challenged me to be a better person and to stand up for myself. She made me realize I was special, and I deserved to be happy. She supported me when I needed it, and kicked me in the butt when I needed it more.
Through it all, me and this young lady shared our love for horror. She read the next two books in The Vampire Hunters trilogy and Rotter World, and beta read the various short stories I wrote (including the one about the giant spider from space, even though she hates spiders). We started watching The Walking Dead and True Blood together on Sunday nights. Well, not physically, but we texted each other during the shows as if we were together.
Once the difficult time in my life had passed, she suggested that we meet and see what happened. That was in November 2011.
So what does this have to do with Halloween and why the day is special to me? Two things.
First, the young lady whose manuscript I reviewed is Alison Beightol. Today, her second vampire novel (Blood Betrayal) is being published. I am very proud of her, and am confident her career will be a success.
Second, Alison and I met because of horror, and it has been a constant through our relationship. Which is why, this afternoon, the two of us are getting married. Of all the dates to get wed, Halloween seemed the most appropriate.
So am I still the creepy little Monster Kid who enjoys Halloween because it represents something that is very near and dear to me? Yes. But now I have someone special and even more dear to me to share it with.
Born and raised just outside of Boston, Massachusetts, Scott M. Baker now lives in Florida with his fiancee and fellow author Alison Beightol, his stepdaughter, two house rabbits, two boxers, and a cat. His first zombie novel, Rotter World, was released by Permuted Press in April 2012. He has also authored The Vampire Hunters trilogy and several short stories, including “Dead Water,” “Rednecks Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things,” “Cruise of the Living Dead,” “Deck the Malls with Bowels of Holly,” "The Hunger," and "Last Flight of the Bismarck." He is currently working on a post-apocalyptic Young Adult novel titled Hell Gate and a sequel to Rotter World.