Finally, the day is here! My book, Wilderness: A Collection of Dark Tales, has been released and is available through CreateSpace; to get a copy, go to http://www.createspace.com/3800632. In about a week, you will be able to purchase it through your Amazon account, as well. Wilderness features twenty short stories of varying shades of eerie, liberally sprinkled with magic.
Many of the stories made their debut appearances on this blog, and these may feel like old friends to those who have been following. Of these, I lightly reworked two, to smooth out some of the literary bumps. The White Duchess, a tale of 19th century zombie vampirism, is a bit clearer after a few touches. Rumpledsilkskin, a story of one family’s naïve move into the terrifying province of the Johns Woods (where a tree is most definitely not just a tree), has received an extra scene or two that answer some readers’ questions.
Five of the stories in the collection are entirely new, and go out into the world for the first time in this book. They are:
Snow Eva, in which a strange, reclusive woman takes in an orphaned babe found in the forest. This is a tale of grudging love, paranoia, and fear of losing one’s youth and power. Readers may find a few slender bones of the classic Snow White tale here, more darkly clothed.
The Exchange, in which two sisters grow into their teens in very different fashion, with shockingly different dreams of the future. This is a story of jealousy and crippled empathy, and it ends with a horrifying theft (though the guilty character would quibble with me over the charge).
Death Is No Land For The Weak, in which clueless novelist Ed Spencer finds that life after death is still a struggle – this time with his own worst nature.
The Love Of Gentle Creatures, in which a shy retiring widower finds an oddly satisfying companionship with a unicorn topiary – until his peaceful solitude is threatened by a designing woman and he makes a desperate choice.
The Enchanted Lock, featuring the return of the inimitable Madame Babatskaya. Visit her snowy city and attend the Winter Ball at the Palace, where the glitter disguises avarice, young women are viewed as commodities, and Madame B. spins an ensorcelled fabric and slows time for the benefit of true love.
I hope you will give Wilderness: A Collection of Dark Tales a read, and that you will enjoy it. I hope it can transport you to the fairy tale realms I spend so much of my time imagining, that the trip will be real and thrilling for you, and that – maybe – I’ll see you there as I wander in search of the next story.
Just be careful. I can’t command all the beasts that lurk there, nor vouch for the safety of every shadow.
Questions about the book? Contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.