Our Member of the Month for April, 2022 is Lauren Austin, of Glasgow.
Lauren says: "Hello fellow HPLHS members, my name is Lauren Austin. I live in Glasgow, Scotland with my parents and my two children.
I distinctly remember the first night I discovered Lovecraft. It was 2 days before Christmas and I had just been admitted to hospital with severe abdominal pain. After making my way through A & E I was admitted to a ward. I found myself, unusually for the NHS, in a private room overlooking the Necropolis. For those not familiar with Glasgow, the Necropolis is a Victorian era cemetery behind the Glasgow Royal Infirmary. Suitably gothic, particularly on a dark winter evening, I looked out my window and wondered what I could do to pass the time. I decided to try audiobooks as I needed something to drown out the incessant drone of the hospital.
Scrolling through Audible I had no idea what to listen to at first. Inspired by my gothic and slightly eerie neighbour I decided to try a horror. Off I headed to browse Audible's horror selection and I soon came across a book called 'Necronomicon, by someone called H P Lovecraft. I was intrigued by the name, and even more so by the unusual name of the author. Reading the brief bio it was apparently a mix of horror, science fiction and cosmic terror. It sounded interesting, and it was long which I needed as I had a long night ahead full if nurse checks and pain relief. So, I clicked purchase and started to listen.
That was my introduction to Lovecraft, and it was a revelation! It was bizarre, unique, and utterly compelling. I listened to that audiobook on repeat for about 6 months until I found the HPLHS Complete fiction of H P Lovecraft and fell even more into the strange and cosmic world of Lovecraft. I've listened to that book every night for years now. No wonder I have such strange dreams really...
It was this book that brought me to the HPLHS and my joining as a member. Lovecraft's work had meant a lot to me over a difficult period in my life. My husband died almost exactly 2 years ago. I was left to pick up the pieces of my life and that of 2 young children. Lovecraft provided me with the escapism, and weirdly the comfort, so needed. His work is so visceral and powerful it blows me away. I think I take comfort from the fact that there was someone who had an even stranger imagination than me! I have since bought and read for myself his work, as well as Providence by Alan Moore.
Outside of Lovecraft I am a civil servant, horse owner and avid gamer. I live to colour in but that is the extent of my creative talents unfortunately. One day I hope to have the guts to write, about what I'm not sure. For now, I’m concentrating on getting life back on track and staying relatively sane. Ironically, Lovecraft, and the HPLHS, helps me to do that!"