Guest: Michelle Willingham

Hi everyone! We’ve got lovely author Michelle Willingham with us today! She’s got a very seasonally apt post. 😀

Scary Movies and Happy Endings

“I want you to take me to Howl-o-scream, Mom,” my eldest son informed me. He has reached that age when scary things are cool, and boys want to watch movies like “Nightmare on Elm Street.” Gone are the days when he wanted to dress up like Yoda for Halloween or a Power Ranger. No, my boy wants to be a ninja, complete with a double-edged axe.

And this ninja thinks I want to take him to an amusement park, complete with scary people jumping out from the bushes with chainsaws. There’s also a haunted house and any number of terrors awaiting unsuspecting guests.

This is not my idea of a good time.

I am a self-professed wuss who was traumatized by a Disney production of “The Watcher in the Woods.” Bette Davis was terrifying, and it was only four years later that I attempted to watch one other scary movie (“The Exorcist“). After that, I was done.

I think it comes from having an overactive imagination. While a part of my brain realizes that this is not real, and my children’s heads will not spontaneously spin around, being scared is not something I enjoy. Halloween, for me, was always about the candy and not about skeletons, ghosts, or deadly things that go bump in the night.

Another reason might be that I prefer happy endings to gory ones. I want to read about and be entertained by people falling in love. The scariest direction I’ll venture is being kidnapped by a hot Viking. Because, let’s face it—given a choice between an axe murderer jumping out at me and a gorgeous guy sweeping me away, there’s no choice at all.

In just a few weeks, at the end of November, Harlequin Historical is releasing a new book connected to my MacEgan Brothers series: Warriors in Winter. I always wanted to do a Christmas anthology, and I’ve written three stories about second generation characters. It gave me a chance to revisit the brothers as they’ve aged, and see how their happy endings turned out. Their children each face different challenges with their love stories, and I wove the tales together with each of the MacEgan Brothers putting in cameo appearances.

And yes. There happens to be a really hot Viking in there. I hope you’ll enjoy curling up with him on a winter’s day with a mug of hot cocoa. Or perhaps some leftover Halloween candy, if there is such a thing.

Today, I’m giving away a copy of one of my backlist MacEgan Brothers books—your choice! Just leave a comment and tell me—do you like horror movies? Or are you like me and can’t bear to watch them? Got a favorite or one that traumatized you?

2010 RITA® Award Finalist Michelle Willingham has written over twenty historical romances, novellas, and short stories. When she’s not writing, Michelle enjoys reading, baking, and avoiding exercise at all costs. Visit her website.

So I’m really curious about your answers to Michelle’s questions too! (If you missed it…)

Just leave a comment and tell me—do you like horror movies? Or are you like me and can’t bear to watch them? Got a favorite or one that traumatized you?

13 thoughts on “Guest: Michelle Willingham

  1. Cathy P

    No, I do not like horror movies. Sometimes I think that they give people ideas they don’t need to have. Besides that, they give me nightmares. Just call me a wuss.

  2. Kelly Bennett

    I am with you Michelle I do not like scary movies. When I was a little girl we where traveling and stayed in a motel room, I woke up in the night and saw a ghost by the bed next to me. I was so scared I tried to wake my sister and couldn’t wake her so I put my head in her back and went back to sleep. For the longest time I would sleep with the light on at night. So Vikings is more my cup of tea. If I win any book you have would be great.

  3. Liz

    Great post! I hate horror movies. When I was in high school, I always thought it was fun to watch a scary movie and cuddle up to a guy I was dating, but then it wasn’t funny when I went to bed that night and it was dark and scary and no one was cuddling me! I only went to one haunted amusement park, with my husband and step sons and I was more ticked off than anything, because the boys were so terrified that I felt like punching out the zombies with chainsaws! So I’ve been on a scary moratorium since then, going on eleven years now. My husband is in charge of taking my daughter to scary things, because she lurves to be scared! Didn’t inherit that from me!

  4. Linda Thum

    I can’t/don’t watch them. I’m a big wimp! I get totally spooked, even the music scares me. I close my eyes & plug my ears at all the scary bits. I’m sticking to romance & things that leave me with a nice warm glow instead of shivers!

  5. flchen1

    Hi, Michelle!!!! So excited to see you here! A little bird (actually Lime’s new subscription service!) told me you were visiting! YAY!

    As for horror movies, I am the wussiest wuss EVER. I’ve always been fascinated by scary stuff, but as I got older, I realized that I cannot watch scary stuff, and I really shouldn’t read it either! I remember having trouble sleeping for weeks (months?!) after seeing a stage adaptation that a local high school did of Dracula. And um… once when DH was out of town, I couldn’t sleep after watching… ahem… an episode of Buffy.


    Anyway, NO scary stuff for me, no freaky movies, no haunted houses! Happy endings, please!! Can’t wait to make sure I’m all caught up with your latest, Michelle 🙂 Bliss!

  6. June M.

    I LOVE horror movies! I grew up watching all the Halloween, Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm St, Child’s Play, Hellraiser, etc movies. I still love them, but generally end up laughing at them with my 18 yr old niece (she is like me and finds the humor in them, lol–although she is scared of Chucky from Child’s Play)

  7. Barbara E.

    I don’t really enjoy horror movies – I haven’t seen all of the famous ones and don’t plan on watching any of them. The scariest movies I’ve seen are the Alien movies, and I enjoyed them because they were science fiction, but still super scary. When I was young, I went to see Night of the Living Dead, that was enough for me, I never wanted to see another scary movie after that. 😀

  8. Michelle Willingham

    I ended up taking him, and we did go in one of the haunted houses, called 13. It was 13 things you’re scared of–fear of heights, fear of closed spaces, fear of doctors & dentists, etc. After the doctor had a corpse-y looking woman on a stretcher and a white coat covered in blood, holding a meat cleaver, my bold 10-year-old was grabbing me and saying, “Mom, I don’t like this. Mom, we need to get out of here.” In some ways, I’m glad he saw that I wasn’t crazy–that these things really are creepy. Lesson learned! 🙂

  9. Judy Crawford

    The Exorcist never bothered me because being an Irish Catholic and having an exorcism Priest in the famiily I knew what they are suppose to be able to do. BUT on the other hand the movies with paranormal, Freddy, people sneaking into houses i could visualize with my over active immagination I could actually feel the fear as if I was in the movie with them. It really creeped me out… my brothers loved my imagination and did everything they could to torture me. Then a friend of mine loaned me a book by Dean Koontz, Intensity, and I have never, ever, will never, read another horror book or walk into a movie theater showing a horror flick. I hate to say this but between Stephen King and Dean Koontz I believe the mind can be a “terrible thing” to visit. 🙂 Really would you want to take a walk in their mind. Shiver here. If offered I would take a pass…

    1. Michelle Willingham

      The Exorcist was the worst for me. And reading the book Dracula! I think I slept with a cross around my neck for many years as a kid. My imagination was WAY too active!
      Dean Koontz has some great books, but yes–his can be scary, too!

  10. Chelsea B.

    I LOVE horror movies– until they are over. Then I’m thinking, ‘Who would it not be weird to ask to go to the bathroom with me?’ Hahahaha. Hey, bad things happen in bathrooms up in horror movies! The one that really got to me was The Ring 2. Duuuude. Just no. I haven’t gone back for part 1. Also, Scream. Masks. I don’t do masks.

  11. Diane Sallans

    Not a fan of horror movies – especially bloody gory ones. Some of the early ones – like ‘The Blob’ are just funny. Does ‘Tremors’ and ‘Arachnophobia’ count as horror – I liked those. Have never watched those Elm Street or slasher type movies – much rather watch a romance.


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