About a year or so ago, a good friend and all-around Great Guy Christopher Golden asked if I’d participate in an anthology he was working up – Dark Cities. At first, I hesitated. I was eyeballs deep in other work, and I don’t often do short stories anymore. I’ve never felt that they were really my strong suit, and I produce them sparingly.
But he caught me at a moment. You see, shortly before his summons, a truly appalling family secret had come to blazing light – and I was trying to find a good way of processing it. I wanted to say something about it, but couldn’t imagine what, or how, or what it would help if I did so. Maybe nothing. Probably nothing. But saying nothing was driving me crazy.
I won’t spell out what happened, but if you read Dark Cities and find your way to my contribution there, you’ll figure it out closely enough. I could write off the matter lightly by telling you to imagine that some portion of my family is made up of hillbillies from the “Florida Man” files of internet hilarity – so what can you do? – and that wouldn’t be far from the truth; but the facts are frankly too awful to joke about, so I won’t.
Instead, I’ll say that I found myself genuinely grateful for the opportunity to write “Good Night Prison Kings.” The horror of the form gave me room to discuss the horror of the facts, and Chris was cool enough to let me run with what’s probably the darkest thing I’ve ever produced. (Or if not the darkest, certainly one of the most personal.)
At any rate, you can pick up Dark Cities now, online and wherever books are sold. I hope you’ll take a chance on it. Let me know what you think, if you do.