What is it about fear and the unknown that pulls so passionately at the human heart? Perhaps we are drawn not to the darkness itself, but to the resolution, the overcoming of what we most deeply dread. After all, the more terrible the struggle, the greater the victory when it comes at last. Presented in this anthology are twelve remarkable stories of the darkness that overshadows us, and the resolution that may be found beyond them. They are stories of fear and oppression, but ultimately stories of hope, stories that will take you BEYOND THE WAIL.
Everyone, meet Tirzah Duncan: NaNoWriMo enthusiast, headgear-wearer and knife-fighting-expert.
Tirzah Duncan is one of the 12 authors featured in the brand new BEYOND THE WAIL anthology. OF MICE AND MONSTERS, Tirzah’s contribution, follows Benjamin, whose attempts to help his timid girlfriend are impeded by his inner demons… and a ghost from his violent past.
Today, she’s kindly stopped by my blog to answer a few questions.
Did I mention there are PRIZES?
Tirzah, how did you come up with the concept of your short story?
“There is a man who twists the necks of caged mice.” The first sentence popped into my head, and it drew me on from there, one sentence, one paragraph at a time. The heavy pall of darkness fascinated me, filled me with fear, but also with hope. I wrote without knowing where the story would go, without even knowing what the next sentence would be before I wrote it.
This is the only story I’ve written longhand in a notebook, the only story I’ve ever written quite like this. The only story I never had to force myself to keep writing, because it sank in its hooks and called me on, word by word.
Tell us a dark secret about your story.
The moment Benjamin slams down the glove, scaring his pet mouse? The moment the creature cowers, and he feels that rush of power go to his head?
I had that same moment in my childhood, with one of my rats. I felt the rush, and, even as an eight/nine-year-old, it frightened me. I could feel the darkness in it, the monstrosity, and I never did it again. But I remembered.
That is, fortunately, the only part of this work which is in any way autobiographic.
When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
When it was misery and I still loved it.
Name one entity that you feel supported your writing, outside of family members.
I’ve gotta give credit to two: Danielle Shipley, and Syawn Birk. One is my bestie, and I’m on the phone with her way too near to 24/7. Our characters party, talk, bond, and fight together just as much as we do. Somehow, we both manage to get a lot of writing done anyhow, her more than me.
Sy, though, is muse and main character, life coach and captain, friend and priest. He’s almost always at my side when I need inspiration or advice, a confessional or a sermon. I’ve loved him, I’ve hated him, I’ve wrestled over plot points with him, and I don’t know where I’d be without him.
What’s up next for you?
I’m creating an anthology of my own works, as it happens. Not sure what I’m going to call it yet, but I believe Danielle suggested “Tirzah tries to write love stories and fails pretty badly”.
The tales vary from urban fantasy to myth, swords-and-sorcery to psycho-punk, but they’re all centered around love.
In and among internal conflicts, passion, murder, magic, and good old-fashioned vigilantism, each story seeks to question what love really is, what it does, and what, in love, is most important.
Also, Death meets Santa Claus.