I had to wear many hats throughout the creation of For the Night is Dark, first as creator in coming up with the theme, the cover and filling the ToC, and then as writer, publisher and assistant editor. I’ll never forget the day Ross Warren (editor) sent me the final word document for the anthology. I just couldn’t prepare it for publication before one last sweep. So I sat for 22 hours straight that day. It was my 6th wedding anniversary, but don’t worry, my wife is getting more and more involved in the business.
It certainly wasn’t an easy project to complete, but working with such a bunch of professionals made it a journey of immense discovery and experience. Looking back, it almost feels like it was a breeze.
What was quite frustrating, was reading the amazing stories as they came in, knowing that it would still be months before the horror fans could read them. Every time a story showed up in my inbox, I jumped at the chance to read it. It of course put a lot of pressure on me to write a suitable story as well; I just couldn’t pass off the chance to share a ToC with some of my favourite authors. Would you?
In the end, it took me a few months, on and off, to finish my story, Till Death. I tried to go in another direction, where my protagonist almost finds comfort in the dark. In time, people can get used to everything, right?
You see, he’s lost in not only a physical darkness, but one of the mind that follows a horrific ordeal in ones life. Like losing a child. The pain of such an even can never truly heal, hence the title Till Death. More examples are the darkness that comes with an unknown new world, fear, torture and an uncertain future. The worst is the uncertainty of what really happened, and whether his loved ones are still alive, knowing he’d never see them or know the answer to that question. In time people get used to uncertainty, even feel safe in it. That’s when they start fearing the light, because what’s in the light can sometimes be a lot worse.
Till Death had many rewrites, so I hope I was able to capture the feeling of loss and depression I was aiming for. In parts I even hope the reader feels like they’re sinking into a deep, black pit.
Where did the idea come from, you ask? I have no idea. Sometimes I try to think back and the earliest memory of a story is actually writing it. Who knows where these ideas come from, I just write them down.
Joe Mynhardt is a South African horror writer, publisher, editor and teacher with over fifty short story publications. He has appeared in dozens of publications and collections, among them FOR THE NIGHT IS DARK with Gary McMahon and Armand Rosamilia. He will also appear in THE OUTSIDERS and CHILDREN OF THE GRAVE alongside great authors such as Simon Bestwick, Joe McKinney and others.
Joe is also the owner and operator of Crystal Lake Publishing. His editorial debut, FEAR THE REAPER, will be available by Halloween 2013.
His own collection of short stories, LOST IN THE DARK, is now available through Amazon.
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