This is my guest post and how it appeared on ScribeVibe in November 2008
Why did you chose to write 6 stories that focused on the same concept - the weaknesses of the characters in them?
It was never a conscious decision to have the six stories in Lighting the Dark Side focus on a similar concept. It just turned out that way, and to best explain how and why, I will give a brief history of the book and of my writing.
I was making up stories before I could read. I switched between fiction and poetry from my early teens through to adulthood. Then in 2001, I found myself in a new relationship and happy for the first time in years. From this stability, I decided to get serious about fiction. I started with a few short stories and with my confidence growing, I tried increasingly complex plots. By fall 2004, I had a number of shorts and two novellas.
The birth of my daughter delayed writing for over a year. In spring 2006, I returned to the unpublished short stories. The first thing I noticed was the darker subject matter, and the characters all struggling against their weaknesses. I credited this gloominess to sadness still lingering from my divorce. The stories were getting some favorable feedback and I wondered if grouped together they might be enough for a book. After polishing the stronger selections, I wrote another novella; pared the total down to six; and then began to research publishers.
I believe everyone has a darker side to their personality that troubles those who witness it. This could be anything from bigotry to anger management or perhaps jealousy. The key to triumphing over this darkness is to recognize it, and to turn a light against it. This theme is present in all the stories and became the title of the book.
The characters in the collection all follow unique paths in order to overcome their shortcomings and escape extraordinary situations; from Dwayne Johnson, a man who struggles to find love despite a severe Obsessive Compulsive Disorder; to Brad Stewart, whose lottery win becomes a nightmare when his son is kidnapped for ransom; to James Goodal, a gentle man with a rescue complex who resorts to murder when he takes in a young street prostitute.
Together, the stories are a good representation of who I was as a writer over the first eight years of this decade. They run the gamut of fiction genres and, I hope, will challenge readers to think in new directions.