He imitated rather than trying to develop his own voice, spending his time copying Conan O'Doyle's SHERLOCK HOLMES, P. G. Wodehouse's JEEVES and Edgar Allen Poe's work.
"Imitation is fine for awhile, but then you've got to move on and take a chance on something that's really you," Bradbury said.
I feel like this is still ME. I started off here in the horror genre, I love horror and what it has to offer, but in the past two years I've felt more and more that a lot of my efforts - though I'm proud of them - are simply imitations of "horror stories."
The door was cracked a little when I discovered Charlie Grant and really started reading Ramsey Campbell, and in the past two years, diving into the Twilight Zone with my students, stuffing myself full of Bradbury and reading Dean Koontz's biography (and now Ray's) I feel like I want to reach...higher.
I will always be a spec fic writer. I love the strange and bizarre and eerie and mysterious. It's how I'm wired. But I'm also deeply nostalgic and sentimental, idealistic and hopeful. BUT, I also believe there are things we'll never understand, tragedies and disasters that will never have explanations here on this earth, and life is filled with equal parts sadness and joy, nightmares and dreams, victories and failures.
I know one thing. I need to try harder to take chances on something that's really me.
But what if me...ISN'T horror? Or "horror" as people think of it?
We shall see...