James H. Summers - Psychological Horror Fiction Writer
In the early years growing up in Illinois, I recognized my passion for writing. Several short stories and poems, influenced by my inner darkness, fueled the creativity that would later empower my writing endeavors. My sister and brother proved challenging as I got older, and moving to Kentucky didn’t help. I left behind a lot of nice friends and felt, literally, that I was starting over in everything. After finishing high school, I joined a juniorcollege, and after a semester I enlisted in the military. Towards the end of that part of my life I spent almost six months in Operation Desert Shield. During that time, I had little time for leisure, and the only writing that I did were some letters home to my parents.
After that I came back to my civilian life and I started writing again, which I sorely missed. Having been introduced to role playing games with my Dad and brother back in the day, I revisited those memories in some of my short stories. My Mom never liked participating in that game and handed over the reins to Dad to help keep us kids occupied in the evenings; those were great times.
I remember my Dad performing the role of the Dungeon Master, and reading very carefully each and every line from the original module that came with the game as my brother and I made every effort to stay alive and grab all the treasure that we could. Later on, that time of my life would give great meaning to what I would do and how I would do it; I just did not know it at the time.
Finding more time to read I focused on the categories of fantasy and horror genres. Reading what I was introduced to when I was growing up with my Dad brought back wonderful memories. I followed several characters as they fought their way through their writer’s trilogies. This lent validly to a computer game called Neverwinter Nights. I played this game and beat it several times before I started looking into the gaming community. There were different versions there, and I wondered how they came about. It turned out that one could make a module, a world if you will, and control its contents. That’s when I brought Despair into being.
My world of Despair was very hard, and like it’s name, it foreshadowed doom. Over the course of a year and numerous complaints about it being too hard I capitulated and added many more quests for even more powerful items, which gave one hope – thus the name change to Hope and Despair. Now it was more on your own shoulders; if you chose to put in the time to quest for items and figure out the game’s puzzles, one would find those items that helped them live. Hope and Despair has been successful now for over 11 years, before ending in the fall of 2016. Some day, this world, and the adventures in it will make it into my written works.
Even working on that module brought back memories of my early times with my Dad, which led to us catching up later on in life. I learned about things that I didn’t even know that my Dad had done, nor had an interest in. One of these things was prospecting. He was a member of the GPAA and when he was younger, even before I was born, he had gone out west in search of gold. At that time he lived in Illinois, and he traveled as close as Indiana and as far as Nevada for gold. It didn’t take long for me to realize that we could do that together so I listened to each and every word he spoke when he gave instructions on panning, and what gold looked like, where it was found, and everything else pertaining to gold.
His health failed and we would never go out together, but we did talk about where I went, and on several occasions I brought back classified materials for us to go through together in his garage. It’s funny, when we were younger I wanted him to learn more about computers, and to do stuff like that with me, and his focus was cars. Later on in life, when we caught back up, I wanted his help with cars, and he needed me for computer-related issues. Funny how things come full circle.
I miss my Mom and Dad dearly, and when one experiences loss, well, it changes you. My writing became darker, and I started my first project, which was called Bereft Reality. It draws upon a woman’s inner ability to display weakness whilst wielding great power. As the writing of my book came to a close I see an interesting read that revealed the darkness that lurks within us all. This darkness I took down several long roads, leading to other published works and some still to come to fruition.
My writing changed to psychological horror fiction when I realized my true love for horror. In all actuality, I enjoyed the shock and horror of all movies, good and bad. It was only a matter of time before I began to write about what I loved. If you enjoy being scared, if you love staring into a dark room and wondering what lies inside, if you walk down a dark road and wonder what that noise was, then I’m your guy.