Guest Blog: Tracie McBride

Father Figure

My involvement with the For the Night is Dark anthology came about by chance; I saw Joe Myrnhardt’s announcement of his new venture, Crystal Lake Publishing, dropped him a line to see what sort of material he was looking for, and he said, “I’m putting together this horror anthology – would you like to contribute a story?” And here we are. I’m familiar with and admire the work of about half the other contributors to For the Night is Dark. At the time of writing, I’m part way reading my contributor copy, so I predict that within a day or two, I’ll be an admirer of the work of the other half.

Very early on in my writing career, an editor gave me what I thought at the time was curious advice: draw on the myths and legends of your own culture. That advice seems to have percolated away in the murky recesses of my brain, because already this year has seen the publication of two stories inspired by Maori myths and legends, the first being The Touch of the Taniwha in FISH anthology, and the second being Father Figure.

Father Figure is a modern re-imagining of the story of Hine-nui-te-po (if you intend to read For the Night is Dark, then please don’t go off and Google her until after you’ve read it, otherwise you’ll be giving yourself a spoiler). I went for a modern day, suburban setting for two reasons. One, it gave me an excuse to play fast and loose with the details. And two, I personally find stories set literally close to home much scarier than those far away and long ago.

Another piece of advice that almost always drives my writing is, your first idea is usually your worst. The first thing I think of when I think of “dark” and “horror” is the monster that comes out of the dark. Father Figure takes it back a step, and explores what might drive someone to go into the dark.

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Tracie McBride is a New Zealander who lives in Melbourne, Australia with her husband and three children.  Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in over 80 print and electronic publications. Her debut collection Ghosts Can Bleed contains much of the work that earned her a Sir Julius Vogel Award in 2008.  She helps to wrangle slush for Dark Moon Digest and is the vice president of Dark Continents Publishing.  She welcomes visitors to her blog at

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For The Night Is Dark

for the night is dark final cover

The Dark is coming! Call your friends over. You don’t want to go through this alone.

You will be taken back into the past, down to the depths of the ocean and across the borderline between our world and the next. You will see snapshots from the lives of small children, old-time cockney gangsters and aimless stoners. You will journey into the darkest house on the darkest street, wander hospital basements and take a flight in the comfort of first class. You will meet Mr Stix.

This tome includes stories by some of the best horror writers around: G. N. Braun, Carole Johnstone, Armand Rosamilia, Daniel I. Russell, Scott Nicholson, Gary McMahon, Joe Mynhardt, Kevin Lucia, Tracie McBride, Stephen Bacon, Benedict J. Jones, Blaze McRob, John Claude Smith, Tonia Brown, Mark West, Robert W. Walker, Jeremy C. Shipp, Jasper Bark, William Meikle and Ray Cluley.

Are you scared of the dark? You will be.

Cover artist: Ben Baldwin (

Editor: Ross Warren

Only $15.99 for the 428 page print book, and $5.99 for the Kindle and Kobo versions.

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