Stories about Purgatorium: Samantha Banik on Victim of Love
Welcome to the tenth (and second last) blog in this series, where we'll explore the stories behind the stories in ID Press' inaugural anthology, Purgatorium - The Element of Horror.
The anthology will be released on January 22nd at the Copper Branch Restaurant in Brooklin (see the invite here), and is currently available for purchase through Amazon (in both hard copy and e-copy formats), as well as Kobo.
In this series, we'll be talking about the stories in the order in which they appear in the anthology. Today, we tackle Samantha Banik and her story, Victim of Love... Where did it come from?
At the age of 16, I had the fortunate opportunity to spend some time in Europe. I lived in Romania for eight months and took the chance to travel the country, soaking in the history, the castles, and all of the nostalgia that came with such an experience. From there, I saw Paris, Athens, Turkey, and many stops in England. Though many of the places I was able to visit left me with deep-seated memories, Transylvania and the emotion of Bran Castle definitely helped form the aura of Victim of Love.
To write about the Countess Elizabeth Bathory was to become her, which, in itself, was somewhere I was hesitant to go. Being way outside of my genre, and completely out of my comfort zone, I had many doubts that I would be able to pull a story like this out of my hat.
The idea itself came about in talking to a good friend of mine, Dale Long, who seemed to think that I had what it took to make Elizabeth come to life. In the beginning, trying to see things from her perspective was tough. But once I got there, something amazing happened.
I stumbled across a Facebook post I wrote shortly after I finished the first draft of the story and I will share it here because it explains exactly what happened.
‘To write is to put yourself into the world you are creating, put yourself into the room with your character. You have to feel what they feel, hear what they hear, and smell what they smell. You have to essentially become your character. After a while, they begin to take over and you are a marionette in their story. They guide your fingers over the keyboard with invisible strings. Only then does your writing take life. It becomes something that is more powerful than you could ever imagine and it came from you. And that is pretty cool. Unless you are a depraved, insane, mad woman with a taste for virgin blood. Then it can get a bit hairy.’
Victim of Love is something I never imagined I could write. But it came to pass, and I believe I have acquired a taste for the lightless path. I have definitely found a whole new respect for writers who write in this genre. And perhaps through it all, I have passed through the veil to the dark side.
Samantha Banik enjoys a challenge when it comes to writing. Through the experience of this anthology, she is now able to see past the thin lines of genre and more confidently explore her imagination. Samantha has two novels in progress that she hopes to complete in the near future, and has had several articles published in the Orono Weekly Times.