In which I discuss voice and tone in the novels I enjoy (Yes, I mention Harry Potter again) and write, Edgar Allan Poe, Asimov, King, and my short story collection. It’s on sale now.
When I write my novels, my tone and voice are light, despite the possible high body count in the plots. I just don’t like dark, dark, hit-me-over-the-head-with-pain novels. I want my novels to have laughter, characters who don’t dwell on events until they are crippled, that end with the reader cheering for the protagonists. If you think about it, the Harry Potter books had high body counts (growing larger with each year), even episodes of sobbing (at least on my part), but I never felt my soul being dragged down as I read. I always felt uplifted (Yes, even through the tears—SPOILER [really, you haven’t read the books or at least watched the movies yet?]—When Snape killed Dumbledore I knew there was a reason, and even though my heart broke with Dumbledore’s death and funeral, I trusted JK Rowling to give me my answers in the next book. I was right. Book Seven was a killer, yet with every death I recognized the fight for good and that sacrifices had to be made. Geez, a long enough aside for you?)
So why bring this up? Because I like my short stories twisted. Think Edgar Allan Poe. His “Cask of Amontillado” is my all time favorite short story, but I also like his others (“Tell-tale Heart,” “Hop-Frog,” “The Black Cat”). My favorite story in Isaac Asimov’s I, Robot is “Liar!”, and while I love “Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption” (and the movie too), “The Breathing Method” is the novella that made the biggest impression on me when I read Stephen King’s Different Seasons.
So, again, why bring this up? Well, Preternatural is a collection of short stories I wrote that are entirely different from my novel voice (Well, sort of. I’d argue that “April Fools’” is long enough to have that light tone but just wait until the ending.). These stories are twisted, sharp (not as in smart, although I hope that too), dark, surprising, and well, different from my normal stuff. Thus the name GS Anderson on the cover. After Robot Guy read them, he turned to me and said, “I’m scared of you.”
They are short. Very short. The longest one is just under three thousand words. The shortest is a fable of forty-four words, but the average is around one thousand. Twelve in all, they entertain. If you like twisted.
Please pick up a copy. Read them. Then think about writing a review of the book. Seriously, it’s only a buck.
Books I’m reading now:
The Resurrectionist by Sierra Woods