When the Bough Breaks
I am incredibly excited to announce that the anthology, Lullabies for Suffering: Tales of Addiction Horror is on a first .99 Cent Sale this weekend! Look for it in your Bookbub email.
The anthology includes six stories, three novellas, three novelettes. Through a fantastic list of diverse talent, Lullaby aims to portray the affliction of addiction with honesty, empathy and understanding. As Joe Hill so aptly noted, Horror isn’t about extreme sadism; it’s about extreme empathy.
The title came to me from the Leonard Cohen song, You Want It Darker. The idea of addiction as not just a lullaby, but a lullaby for suffering, fit so well, for addiction starts like a sweet lullaby sung by a trusted loved one. It washes away the pains of the day and wraps you in the warmness of the womb where nothing hurts and every dream is possible, but this dream turns into a terrible nightmare as the drugs turn on you and the suffering begins.
Why are lullabies so dark?
Hidden inside the hypnotizing tone of countless Lullabies is something horrific that ends with tragedy to the child. For When the bough breaks, the baby will fall, and down will come baby. The expression of love becomes one of terror. Sleep now, loved one, but tragedy awaits. It’s as if the lullaby is akin to the suffering of addiction that starts with sweet bliss but ends in such horror.
Another theory about why lullabies end with such tragedy is that the darkness is not a message to the child at all, but an avenue for the singer of the lullaby to express their worst fears at safe moment. We are sending our child to sleep, in a near meditative state, and it is at the safety of this moment, in a near trance, that we express the inexpressible: our darkest and deepest fears. Then, with child asleep and the singer unburdened, we are safe to move on.
Each of these stories also express darkest fears inside the safety of a story. The case with many horror writers, I would argue, is that they are not trying to scare others, but it is they who are scared, and writing stories as if sitting alone in a dark room, humming a lullaby about when the bough breaks, and baby will fall. But once they purge the darkness out of their souls they can leave the room with child safely asleep, and feeling much lighter for the lullaby they have sung.
Check out LULLABIES FOR SUFFERING, available on Amazon for Kindle just .99 Cents from Friday, May 15 through Tuesday, May 19th.
USA link: https://tinyurl.com/y2rlj7av
UK link: https://tinyurl.com/ybs84j2o
~The Library Journal, (Starred Review)
“A plunge into the agony and the ecstasy, the inescapable nightmare of addiction.”
~ALMA KATSU, author of The Deep and The Hunger
Caroline Kepnes, author of You and Hidden Bodies
Kealan Patrick Burke, author of Sour Candy and Kin
Mercedes M. Yardley, author of Pretty Little Dead Girls
John FD Taff, author of The Fearing
Mark Matthews, author of Milk-Blood
Gabino Iglesias, author of Coyote Songs