This week’s post is a little different than usual, because I finally get to announce the release of ShadowSpinners: A Collection of Dark Tales. What started out as a flickering idea in this writer’s fevered imagination is now an actual physical thing! (We’ll save arguments regarding wether or not an ebook is an actual thing for later.) For yes, we do have a print version, and it is truly a lovely thing to hold and fondle. With the invaluable aid of ebook wizard Pamela Herber and print formatting genius Matt Lowes, ShadowSpinners can now offer up some of the fiction we’ve been ranting about for the past two years. Thank you also to Cheryl Owen-Wilson for the gorgeous artwork.
I am profoundly grateful to be part of such an amazing group of writers.This has most definitely been a labor of love and I hope our enthusiasm for the project will warm your soul even as our stories chill your spine.
And now, so you’ll know what I’m raving about, here’s my introduction to the collection:
The tag line for the ShadowSpinners blog is “when nice people write bad things.” The writers whose works are included in this collection are nice people, mostly, in the daylight. But get us alone with our characters and bad things tend to happen. We’ve all written stories that have scared the wits out of friends and have earned us the question, often asked with a nervous chuckle, “Where on earth do you get these ideas?”
That is indeed an excellent question. Several of us have addressed it on the blog, (here, here and here) but while pondering how to introduce this rather eclectic collection, it came to me once again. Why do nice people write bad things? And what exactly makes a tale dark, anyway?
Within this volume you’ll find a broad compendium of styles, ranging from humorous to thoughtful to outright horrific. Yet there is a common thread, a dark undertow that explores the mysterious depths of the human psyche. The description “dark” can mean so many things, but in this volume the sense of something obscured, veiled by shadow, underlies each story, whether we are hearing the whispers of ghosts over the phone line, pondering the weight of a hollow existence, saving young souls from Satan or battling terrifying alien forces in the void of space.
Often, the darkness, the ghost, resides in our own minds. And when faced with an outside force of evil, an equal and opposing force may arise from within. Whether our characters will meet evil with evil or with an overcoming, triumphant strength is the question at the heart of many of these stories.
If you’re the sort of reader who likes to know what to expect, this might not be the volume for you. However, if you enjoy a rousing good yarn populated by fascinating characters in challenging situations, prepare to enjoy yourself.