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Darkness On The Edge

This weekend, the postman brought me this:

Here is a photo of my story, “Devil’s Arcade” (which I’m delighted is the final one in the collection):

And here it is, safely in its case:

This is Darkness on the Edge, from renowned small press PS Publishing.

Creativity is something like magic. One form might feed the other, providing inspiration, sparking ideas, fueling the creative juices. For the authors contained within this unique anthology, the source of inspiration was the music of Bruce Springsteen. Themes, lines, song titles . . . whatever it took to draw these stories into life.

So many of Springsteen’s songs bring you close to the edge of a darkness where uncertainty reigns – a darkness not just on the edge of town but of our hearts and minds . . . the darkness between child and adulthood, perhaps; or between courage and fear; marriage and divorce; even confidence and self-doubt. These nineteen authors nudge us closer to an answer . . . and let us see what really is stirring out there in the shadows.

I don’t often write short stories, because I don’t often get the opportunity, but I love the chance to handle something different, flex the writerly muscles, and try to prove I’m not a one-trick pony. A big fan of Springtsteen, when I heard about this anthology, I just had to send in an entry and, at the time of writing, I had no deal with Tor UK, which for some reason makes it especially nice that the story was accepted.

Basically, the brief was to expand or be inspired by one of the Boss’s songs, and take that into the short story medium, which I guess is a more exotic form of tie-in fiction. For those of you who are interested, the song I chose as inspiration was Devil’s Arcade.

By Mark Newton

Born in 1981, live in the UK. I write about strange things.

5 replies on “Darkness On The Edge”

Gratz man, and here I thought after reading Villjamur that you couldn’t write anything without a dozen different plots and twice as many characters 😉

Is it going to be available seperately eventually?

Thanks, Daniel. Good question – and I’m not sure, though eventually (after they’re all gone, or after a year or whatever) I’d certainly stick it up here online for free.

Stephen – it’s a great one, isn’t it? I don’t know whether or not you’ll get the collection (it’s probably for those hardcore genre readers) but essentially I spent a good while with the lyrics to create some images in my head (Bruce is a pretty visual song writer), and basically threaded those together in a weird story, whilst a) trying to capture Americanisms and b) trying to capture the mood of what I felt the song was about. It’s clearly a strong anti-war song (or at the very least, highlighting some of the more personal horrors), so I tried to carve those images into that theme.

It’s funny because with this song, like many by the Boss for me, I never know what they are about at first, I just let them wash over me a few times before actually listening more closely to the lyrics. I would also say with this song it’s not as obvious as some like say, Outlaw Pete which is just a fantastic wild west tale. (This is where I find out Outlaw Pete is actually about war and racism in modern society!)

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