Thursday, June 21, 2012

Writing Dark Fantasy

            If you never spent a day in bed shivering with chills while burning up with fever at the same time, throat so swollen and sore it hurt to swallow, dry eyes burning and head feeling as though it was a baby's stuffed toy, how would you be able to appreciate a day when you felt as though you could climb a mountain and have energy to spare?
            If you never sat staring at a pile of overdue bills, your heart pounding out of fear your house and car would be taken away by the bank, how could you appreciate looking at a bank account balance of at least a few bucks after all bills had been paid, including a bit into savings?
            If you never laid in bed during the wee hours of the night, startled out of a deep sleep by some noise you couldn’t identify, watching the shadows move across the walls while your skin literally felt as though it was crawling up your back, your heart racing like you’d been running, how could you appreciate a bright sunny day full of laughter and joy or a night filled with pleasant dreams?
            Reading stories that scare us allows us to construct safety nets in our imagination so when something truly horrible occurs in our lives we can better deal with it, having already thought our way through something similar. This is why people watch Reality Shows on television, hoping to see someone get injured or experience hurt feelings. It makes the viewer feel like their own life is more exciting and worthwhile than they might otherwise have thought.
            It’s long been known Middle Graders devour scary stories like candy. Look at popular series like Goosebumps, with hundreds of books each devoured by tweens. Or even the Lemony Snicket series A Series of Unfortunate Events which portrayed a set of siblings experiencing horrendous things no child would ever wish to experience. By reading about ‘the scary’ and seeing how someone experienced and survived it kids discover they can deal with daily life, which is truly frightening at that age.
            Horror explores and probes the shadows when we are afraid to do so in life. Battling demons or ghosts in a book is a lot easier when you know you will survive. Often making it all the way through a truly horrifying book becomes a badge of courage. And the more terrifying the story, the braver you feel.
            This same phenomena happens with teens and slasher films. Teens need to feel courageous and brave after being bullied at school or worrying about the haircut they just got. By ‘surviving’ a slasher film, even though the heroine or hero may not, provides that rush of adrenaline that builds bravery in a viewer’s imagination. Whether they could actually be as courageous as they feel if the real situation occurred is irrelevant.
            As a writer of Dark Fantasy my goal is to reveal through fiction the reality of the horrors which occur daily in our world. After reading any of the books in my Seraphym Wars series, you may research the horrific events depicted and pull up the actual news stories from years back. My fiction is only partly imagination. 

Harpies, Book Two Seraphym Wars Series (out soon)
Transported to a planet he'd never heard of was the least of fifteen-year-old Griffen's problems. Learning to control his suddenly increasing strength and new ability to pull lightning from the sky takes some getting used to.  Angry preteen Seth joins the quest; meanwhile discovering his combusting ability as a fire-starter. Driven to find the last Vigorio, a young girl able to experience others' emotions, they journey together toward their destinies as warriors against Narciss, Ruler of Tartarus and his Legio of demon-dragons. But Belial, a power-hungry demon determined to win Narciss’s approval makes their trip miserable while Narciss’s Harpy henchmen take matters into their own hands.

Odessa Blurb
17-year-old Myrna is drawn into the middle of an epic battle between Seraphym and Demons. An average High School student from Florida, struggling with inner demons resulting from an attack when she was 15, she wakes one morning on the Steampunk planet of Dracwald, home of the demon-dragons responsible for her brother’s recent murder as well as many other atrocities in the news. She meets sweet and sensitive Michael, who explains that according to prophecy, Myrna must gather the remaining six Vigorios (teen warriors with special talents) then train with the Majikals on an enchanted island. He accompanies her on the quest, but harbors a secret past that ironically would destroy all the faith she has placed in him. A handsomely roguish Scientist with suspect motives haunts her dreams and makes sudden appearances in unlikely places, while a sensual dragon warrior defends her against her will.
Will love and lust, jealousy, greed, deceit and distrust break the delicate tie that binds these teen warriors called The Vigorios? Can a troupe of teens help the Seraphym finally defeat the massive empire of evil dominated for eons by the demon-dragons of Dracwald?
Available in eBook formats and as paperback.

Prophecy Blurb
For centuries the residents of Solsyl lived in peace and harmony with the planet. Then the dragon-demons arrived, causing the Great Shuddering. Majikals from everywhere scurried to find shelter from the evil while humans hid. Laud regretted his rash decision of exiling the demons on Solsyl and asked one of his advisors, a member of The Conscientia, to protect his people. Jeremiah Holyfield agreed to leave the peaceful world of Revrum Natura for a life of constant strife and fear on the newly renamed planet of Dracwald. But Narciss, ruler of Tartarus and King of the demons, desperately wants what Jeremiah has sworn to protect—a Prophecy of Narciss’s future doom. And Narciss refuses to take no for an answer. But Jeremiah discovers allies along his path and even true love, which he never dreamed possible.
But forever is a long time to protect something without ever letting down one’s guard.
Available as eBook.


  1. Your post reminds me of Stephen King and his book Danse Macabre, when he talked about understanding a particular decade's zeitgeist by examining the horror films that were prevalent during that time. He used the Cold War and the fear of communism as the backdrop for all the xenophobic horror movies of the 50's and early 60's. Like you said, people need a way to process the scary stuff in real life with a belief that survival is possible. As an author, do you feel writing dark fantasy is as helpful as reading it?

  2. I guess all ages enjoy reading scary stories. I do. On a dark rainy thundering night is the best time. Just make sure the doors are locked.

    Your books sound great. I hope to read them one day, if I ever catch up on the requested reviews. I need to slow down.