S. A. Bolich on Writing in the Dark

Posted: June 17, 2010 by sabolich in Uncategorized
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Who Mourns for the Hangman?My fellow writers and I here at Damnation Books spend a lot of time in the dark–the dark side of human nature, that is. Does that make us weird? I mean, geez, we’re up to our elbows in blood and gore and angst and the occasional brain-munching zombie. We spend our lives trying to scare the bejeebers out of people, or at least make every hair on their body start to creep. Is it really strange that we achieve so much satisfaction from ooking people out?


I write dark fantasy, not horror (yet). Despite all efforts to keep my pieces light and giggly and upbeat, increasingly I find them coming out like Who Mourns for the Hangman? (Yes, that was a shameless plug!).  Dark themes give me a platform to explore issues that I think are important, that make people think. What’s right? What’s wrong? Are the things we believe really absolute? Getting inside the head of a dark character lets us view the world from a totally different point of view. Sometimes it liberates both the writer and the reader. You’re allowed to step outside the bounds while exploring this thing that makes you shudder. It tickles me no end that every single review of this story ends up in sympathy with the hangman, one of the most reviled characters in any society. Thank you, Damnation Books, for publishing it.

I’ll keep on writing dark fantasy and peering under rocks to see what wriggles out. Somebody’s gotta do it. Besides, what other profession lets you get away with intentionally upsetting everyone you encounter, hmm?

Happy reading, folks.


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