The fourth volume of Chastity Nicole and Debbie Manber Kupfer’s Sins Of Time series of themed Horror/Dark Fantasy anthologies is out now. I’ve kept my streak going, I have a story in all four volumes.
It’s a series that has a special place in my heart. I was originally invited to contribute by Debbie, who is one of the few of my writing contacts I’ve actually met in person. The first one was Sins Of The Past, and at that time we weren’t thinking in terms of a series, Chastity just had the idea for an anthology that mixed Horror with Historical fiction.
I wasn’t sure I wanted to contribute at first, because I couldn’t think of anything to write. I’m not much of historian. Then I was watching one of my collection of B-Movies and I got to thinking about the persistent urban legend about a movie so horrifying that it had to be destroyed because everyone who saw it went insane.
I sat down and wrote “We Pass From View” in about two hours–once I got started on it, it just flowed out, like I was watching the conversation and transcribing it. I was also alone in the house and it gave me serious chills. The story has since been reprinted in Duel Visions, and it’s one of my favorites.
Well, it was so much fun we decided to do it again. Instead of doing Sins Of The Past II, I suggested doing Sins Of The Future, and everyone else seemed to like the idea.
So that’s what we did. For this collection I decided to write a cautionary tale about a technology that deeply concerns me–autonomous motor vehicles. So called “self-driving cars” scare me, because I work with machines all day long and I know how many ways they can fail. My story, “In The Driving Lane”, explores one possibility.
This one went fast, too, once I got the original idea. I wrote it over the course of an afternoon, just sat down and typed it up. I enjoyed writing it and I think it turned out well. I’m planning on including it in an upcoming anthology of SF stories.
Well, after that we tossed around a number of ideas before settling on Sins Of The Gods. I wasn’t going to contribute at first–I couldn’t think of anything that fit the theme and I was involved in a number of other projects. But then Debbie messaged me and said that they were short on stories and would I please reconsider.
I did, and came up with “Black Dog”, which is also in Duel Visions. Again, once I made up my mind to do it, it was a very quick and easy story to write. I based the main character, Andy, on a coworker of mine, and I could see him in my mind, figuring out what was going on and coming to terms with it.
The latest one, Sins Of The Fae, is where things start getting creepy. Because I didn’t write “The Lord Of Slow Candles” with that collection in mind. It was just an idea I had, the title came to me when I was driving home from work one day, and I sat down and wrote it out, planning on submitting it to a Weird Fiction market. Well, they rejected it, and I stuck it in my Unsold folder and didn’t think too much about it until Debbie messaged me again and asked if I could write something for the fourth collection.
I didn’t have much in the way of spare time–I was hammering out the last story of Bad Dreams & Broken Hearts at the time, and also trying to edit the others to make them consistent. But then it occured to me that I had this unsold story that might just work…
Chastity and Debbie both liked it, so that makes four for four, and all of the stories I’ve written for them have been fast and easy, and I think four of the best stories of my career. “The Lord Of Slow Candles” may end up in a Fantasy collection I am planning on doing next year.
Is there going to be a next one? I sure hope so. Even though I haven’t made money from the collections themselves, they seem to inspire me to do my best work.