Oh the horror!

Oh the horror!
A copy of the Voices anthology by Morrigan Books.

As I've been going through my short stories to prepare them for posting, I noticed a trend. They mostly have a horror or death bent. Which is odd, since that's not really my thing. I'm proud of them, so I'm still planning to post most of them, but I'll include a disclaimer so folks know what they are getting into. I don't want anyone to go in thinking "Hey, a story by the Nerni Invents Clock children's book author, that should be fun!" and then have a rude awakening.

Maybe it's because of all the Edgar Allen Poe I read as a kid and I associate short stories with Poe-style? That reminds me, I need to get my kids a Poe collection.

Or it could be that my one traditionally published bit of fiction was a short story in a horror anthology. The theme was "hotel room horror", and since I had been a traveling robot repair guy for years, I had plenty of creepy hotel anecdotes and ideas. I wrote, and they accepted! It didn't pay much, but it felt awesome!

The story was Paris, published in the Voices anthology (pictured above) by Morrigan Books, which, as I just discovered, appears to be defunct. I need to double check, but I think I'm OK to republish it here.

The running theme in my short stories is a main character in a desperate situation with no good options. I guess I was experimenting in a low stakes way. In my first novels, I was nervous about "messing up" my plots by forcing a choice on the protagonist or closing off interesting options (for them and for me). Looking back, I think longer stories are better when the characters have to deal with situations with no good answers. That way, they have to deal with the consequences, which can impact the rest of the story.

Lesson Learned: Don't be afraid to force yourself and your characters to make hard choices and cut off options.

Todd Edwards © . All rights reserved.