Author asks 'What really scares you?'

Sep 23, 2019
P.G. Smith

WARREN — Writer P.G. Smith doesn’t believe that Halloween is just for kids.

Smith will offer a presentation, “Halloween Horror: What Really Scares You?,” at the Warren Free Public Library, 282 Main St., on Thursday, Oct. 10, at 6:30 p.m. The interactive discussion will explore the many reasons why we find horror literature to be frightening, fascinating and fun. Smith will read from the works of Edgar Allan Poe, Anne Rice and Maine’s own Stephen King, as well as reading from his own work. The event is free of charge and refreshments will be served.

“For years I’ve been fascinated by the question of why we find horror stories and movies so alluring and stimulating,” explains Smith. “Psychologists have all sorts of explanations, but I’ve found that the most interesting answers come from readers themselves.”

Smith is a former U.S. Army Brigadier General and public school educator who divides his time between Boothbay Harbor and Ashburnham, Mass. In addition to his horror novel, "Prayers for Evil: A Novel," his writing has appeared in many publications, including Country Living, Military History, Career World, Canada’s History, ARMY, and the Boston Globe. “Over the years I’ve written many non-fiction features for journals and magazines, but when I write for my own enjoyment, I turn to horror,” Smith said.

“Writing 'Prayers for Evil' was a lot of fun as well as a bit of therapy for me,” Smith said. “It’s just the kind of story I enjoy reading, especially around Halloween – creepy happenings, unexpected plot twists, unlikely heroes, some spicy romance, with a little history added in. I love horror stories, but I’m not a fan of blood and gore, so squeamish readers don’t need to be afraid. And small town New England is the perfect setting for a tale about mysterious happenings with links to the past.”

Becoming a bit more serious, he adds, “Perhaps horror stories provide us with a sort of escape from reality. I know for me, after returning home from military duty, diving into the world of this novel was a much needed place where I could shape the environment and control events.” Smith’s 35-year military career included many disaster relief actions, duty in South America, and command of military forces in the aftermath of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings.

Smith will also offer “Halloween Horror: What Really Scares You?” later in the month at Camden Public Library, 55 Main St., on Oct. 31.

Signed copies of "Prayers for Evil: A Novel" will be on sale at all presentations. The novel is also available on Amazon in both e-book and paperback formats. Smith can be contacted at pgsmith@net1plus.com or visit his website at paulgregorysmith.com.

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