Locked In

[I’ve kept this post, one of my first, as an archive piece. My God, we’ve come a long way.]



The US Postal Service is bringing Damnation Books my signed contract. Sounds like I sold away my soul, doesn’t it? (Funny coincidence, just now, Windows Media Player randomly picked Into the Void by Black Sabbath.)


Damnation Books is a small publishing house that specializes in Horror, Dark Fantasy and Erotica. They handle books that the big houses consider as taboo. I write Dark Fantasy. Fantasy fiction has been made very popular by authors such as JRR Tolkien, Piers Anthony, Terry Brooks, and contemporary artist JK Rowling. Those are examples of main-stream Fantasy. They are very creative stories that don’t cause nightmares for children. Their entire world is fantastic; it is not real, hence, fantasy fiction.


I like darker. The big shots in New York, while loosening their ties at the collar and wearing a brave-face peppered with sweat, “Wow, Jake – baby, well, um, no – not us.” Why not?


The story is about a young priestess who falls away from the constructs of her faith, ultimately becoming labeled as a heretic. It isn’t her fault, it is her destiny. At the same time, the story is about a gang of thieves who steal a powerful religious artifact, who are systematically destroyed by the god that created the holy relic. The parallels become clear as the story tells itself. The heroes are very human, so are the villains, this is why the book is labeled as dark. If Harry Potter was a Pyromaniac, or if Frodo occasionally snapped into violent rages, Tolkien and Rowling would write Dark Fantasy.


So, if my soul was sold, it was bought up long before I knew Damnation Books existed. The story is mine and not Satan’s, and I’m pleased someone else besides the devil saw the value of what is being told. So I signed the contract, Hell be damned.