Friday, September 18, 2015

James Garcia explains his Christian Horror



Can a vampire – a creature that must drink the blood of others to live – become a Christian? And perhaps more importantly, can a Christian read and write such dark subject matter?

Hello. Thanks for taking the time to meet me. I’m James, and I read and write dark fiction. Let me first tell you that although I do enjoy this genre of fiction, I have no love at all for torture, mutilation or the darkest of the dark. Trust me when I tell you that I am more Silence of the Lambs than Saw 4. In addition, you are more likely to find me curled up on the couch, watching films like An Affair to Remember, Lawrence of Arabia and Casablanca than The Exorcist. I do own all of those films, and I do watch them periodically; however, I really am more romantic than fiend. Trust me. *winks*

Okay, what?

How in the world does a guy who watches those kinds of films write about things that go bump in the night? Well, you see it began by accident when I first stumbled upon horror novels while a teenager. It probably had something to do with dark subject matter and newfound personal freedoms. I began watching the slasher films of the 70’s and 80’s, but with maturity eventually my tastes became a bit more refined from those early days.

I didn’t set out to pen a vampire novel as my debut. That was another happy accident. Originally I thought the book was to be a crime thriller. It wasn’t until the villain stepped out of the shadows of one scene that I realized he was undead and the plot would be forever changed. That was in my early twenties and it took another twenty years before that novel would ever be finished (a long story for another post perhaps).

During that time I went through a period of self-discovery. I followed the pretty girl to her church and became baptized there. I then distanced myself from horror only to return when I found I missed those thrills – much like riding a roller-coaster. Not that I do that very much of that anymore! *laughs*

So Christian horror, you say? You know: no sex, no foul language and no gore.

Well, not so fast...

I believe the Good Book says that there is a time for everything under the sun. With that in mind you will find each and every one of those big three in my writing; however, when I do it is used very sparingly. Running for one’s life down a dark alley, one is not going to use words like “shoot” and darn-it”. Yet, I don’t think we need to see every other word being ugly either. Profanity is very powerful when used only when utterly necessary in fiction. 

With regard to sex, I don’t believe we always need to enter the bedroom with our characters to know what goes on there. Again, only when it becomes necessary. Lastly, I have found that dark material is not at all frightening when you don’t see the blood. And although I have made you comfortable with this post, please don’t misunderstand. I fully intend to scare you. I never want you seated in your chair with your back comfortably against it. I want you on the edge. So close that you may fall off at any moment. To do that, things might get messy.

You see, in my experience Christian fiction wasn’t thrilling, and certainly not scary. I want to spice it up. I label my fiction crossover horror or crossover paranormal. I slant my fiction with a Christian perspective, but don’t intend to bludgeon folks over the head with the Bible. Equally, I don’t want to turn the other folks off with too much gore.

I have just released the latest chapter in my Dance on Fire series. In Dance on Fire, the vampire Nathaniel saves a woman and her children from the vampire that made him what he is. She is not convinced that he cannot be used for good because she has seen it with her own eyes that he can be. This starts him on a journey of self-discovery. In Flash Point (Dance on Fire 2), a vampire from book one is back, and she’s not alone. She has brought four other vampires with her, and she wants revenge on Nathaniel and his extended family. At the end of that book, the Devil himself steps out of the shadows and it is revealed that it is he that has been against Nathaniel all along. In my just released Infernal (Dance on Fire 3), the Devil returns with a well orchestrated plot and well over one hundred vampires to destroy the God-seeking vampire once and for all. And all who stand with him. 

This book is a darker read. You can’t have Satan running around and expect the book to remain PG-13. Once again, I have tried to take the reader only as far as they need to go to understand. There were some scenes that were uncomfortable even for me. I tried to pare those down to the absolute minimum, but sometimes we need to see the darkness to embrace the light.

Thank you so much for taking the time to hear me out. I really appreciate it. Happy reading!

--James Garcia Jr.



James Garcia Jr. was born in the Central California town of Hanford. He moved up the road to Kingsburg with his family as a child. After graduating KHS, he attended Reedley College where he met his wife. The family still makes its home in Kingsburg which is also the setting of James’ vampire series.

He was the 1994 winner of the Writer’s International Network/Writers’ Inter-Age Network writing contest in the horror category. Dance on Fire was originally published in 2010 and its sequel Dance on Fire: Flash Point was published Halloween 2012. A third book, Seeing Ghosts, is a stand-alone paranormal romance released in June 2013.

During the day, James is a Cold Storage Manager for Sun-Maid Growers of California.

To buyInfernal Dance:  


 A note from Marilyn:

If you like scary fiction or tales about vampires, Infernal is an outstanding read. James has done a great job with this combination. I've read all his books and it would be worth your time to try them.


1 comments:

James Garcia Jr. said...

Thank you for sharing, Marilyn. I really appreciate it. I hope all is well with you and yours. Enjoy your weekend!

-Jimmy