Posted by : Kai | May 2, 2015
Welcome to Shaun Allan’s Darker Places tour – today, we’ve got Shaun talking about ‘Why Darker Places’
Shaun Allan’s Singularity Books is proud to introduce Darker Places!
What if you could steal the final moments from the dying? What if you had the darkest secret, but couldn’t think what it might be? What if you entered the forest in the deep of the night. Who is the melting man? And are your neighbours really whom they appear to be?
So many questions.
To find the answers, you must enter a darker place. Thirteen stories. Thirteen poems. Thirteen more doorways.
I’m a fairly laid back, positive person. I always tend to look on the bright side of life (de-dum-de-dum…) and rarely get stressed about anything. I have a good home life and enjoy my job. Yes, I actually do enjoy my job.
So why Darker Places? Why, in fact, Dark Places and Sin and Mr. Composure? Why do I seem to find the need to dip my toe (followed by the rest of me) in the murky waters of horror and the paranormal? Why does it seem I have regular coffee mornings with Death whilst the shadows serve up scones with butter and jam.
Not that I’m a fan of jam.
I think, perhaps, it’s because I’m positive. Or, at least, I’m positive because of it.
Everyone, I’m sure, has had rough times in their lives. I, too, have. Part of it is written in my unpublished story ‘Memoirs of a Ghost-writer’. This story may never be published, to be honest. Instead, I divert my own inner darkness into my writing. I let the words and the characters experience the pain I and others have felt. Not necessarily in the same way, of course – my school friends didn’t (as they do in Darker Places’ story ‘Home’) die horrible deaths. My neighbours are, I believe, just that – neighbours. And I don’t know of anyone who has died on the toss of a coin.
But still. The pen is mightier than the sword and the keyboard is my shield. With these weapons, I can face Life’s pain with a smile on my face a joke on my tongue, something you’ll realise if you’ve met ‘Sin’. Perhaps my writing is my ‘happy pill’. I certainly find it therapeutic. I don’t dwell on things. If something bad has happened, I just carry on – life is life – and I’ll write a story of someone who sees the shadows in an alley doing things shadows are not meant to do.
Occasionally, my stories are more light-hearted, or at least meant in fun. Footsteps, from Darker Places (DP2), is based on the real experience of a friend of mine. She did have to visit her land at 10pm in the dark. Similarly with The Silence from Dark Places. Another friend (and, I’m honoured to say, a huge fan) had the operation mentioned in the story. How could I pass up the chance to make her squirm a little before she went in? But, I can turn this on myself too. In DP2, there’s a story called Canvas. It’s about a tattoo of a clock.
I have tried to write lighter stories. I have a couple of children’s’ books and am most of the way through a new one. Unfortunately, most of my stories end up with someone dying, about to die or already dead.
Amid my need to complete Mortal Sin, I’m already venturing forth into the Darkest Places (book 3). I have my three year old daughter to thank for this. She was playing pretend dinner party with a couple of friends from nursery – except the friends weren’t actually there. Then she mentioned Nathaniel, someone we’ve never heard of. Apparently, Nathaniel was standing next to me. When I told her to take him downstairs where her other ‘friends’ were, she told me I could keep him. Forever…
Anywho. Thinking about it, I possibly keep entering these Darker Places because, without darkness, you don’t appreciate the light.
A writer of many prize winning short stories and poems, Shaun Allan has written for more years than he would perhaps care to remember. Having once run an online poetry and prose magazine, he has appeared on Sky television to debate, against a major literary agent, the pros and cons of internet publishing as opposed to the more traditional method. Many of his personal experiences and memories are woven into Sin’s point of view and sense of humour although he can’t, at this point, teleport.
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