Sometimes people ask writers where they get their ideas. And usually, there isn’t a good answer, because really, where do ideas come from? I’m not sure what they expect. I guess maybe they think horror writers have some kind of mental illness that causes them to hear voices. Come on people. That’s just crazy. Horror writers are normal people who simply enjoy the dark and perverse.

I am really so sorry to disappoint my readers when they ask this same question of me, but I have to tell the boring, prosaic truth: I get my ideas from the human skull mounted in my bedroom.

Sunshine–named after one of my characters–doesn’t look like much of a talker, but once you get her going, she won’t shut up. Stories about her death, her life, her pet monkey Bobo (the little skull next to her).

Interestingly enough, Sunshine wanted to be a writer too. So we’ve come to something of a bargain. She helps me out with story ideas and I do two things:

1. Add her to the acknowledgment page of my novels.
2. Display her skull in my home.

Some may think it’s not honoring her by mounting the skull. Some may think this is a grotesque example of everything that is wrong with the world.

Sunshine told me to remind you skeptics that this is no different than burning your loved ones and displaying their ashes on the mantel. That’s a good point. Thank you, Sunshine.

I for one would love my skull to be mounted in a writer’s house, where I can whisper scandalous plot lines for him or her to write on their motion sensor air-keyboard. Did I mention I plan to live another 157 years?

Lastly, have you ever played Battleship with a skull? No? Then you have no grounds for complaint. Because it’s freakin’ awesome.

My only regret is that I didn’t know Sunshine in her life, and didn’t have the honor of boiling her face meat off to prepare the skull for mounting. I only hope there’s someone to shave my cheeks off, when the time comes. You know, after the tragic jet pack explosion that sends me sailing past the remaining ten feet of Mount Kilimanjaro and into the mouth of a sky-lion on my 188th birthday.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of Anthony J. Rapino and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Anthony J. Rapino, and if he ever found out, I could kiss my skull goodbye. In perpetuity.