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Writing the Unreal
Brent Abell

I write fiction. It is dark and filled with the things that go bump in the night. In the end, the sun rises and hope fills the world again. Sometimes, what I write for fiction doesn’t hold a candle to our reality. Think of speculative fiction as a mirror. What does the reflection look like when we gaze in to it?

The world needs speculative fiction to make sense of what is happening in reality. One can’t watch the news without seeing the horrors inflicted on fellow human beings on a daily basis. When I write about the unreal, I try to rationalize the real with it. It is hard to explain why people can be so cruel to each other. Yes, it’s human nature, but placing the blame on an evil presence, or on the supernatural, is easier.

Fiction is also an escape, but what are we escaping from when we read? Is it an escape when what you read isn’t any happier than reality? I watch the world go by and it saddens me. I use fiction to help sort my thoughts out about it. Writing fiction is a cathartic exercise to express the fears and concerns I have for the world.

Zombie fiction is a great mirror for the world. I use it to judge us. The genre has moved beyond the Romero comparisons to how mankind is being turned into zombies through commercialism. I use the zombies as a backdrop now to explore humanity. Instead of how do we get to the point of zombies, I write about the survivors and at what price will a person pay to live. We see on a daily basis the lengths people will go to in society to live, heck just to survive in some cases. But when the constraints of society are broken down and removed, how much will the living regress? When inspected under the mirror, not much more.

In the end, we use fiction for what we need it to be. If you need an escape, a coping mechanism, or a way to reflect; speculative fiction is there for everyone who chooses it. Maybe when you watch the news or look out the window, you can see behind the veil of this world and imagine what lies beyond. Pick up the book on the table next to you and escape. Escape into other worlds and enjoy the break from reality.

What do you see when you look into the mirror?

Carl Volker has a problem. After waking one morning with a hangover to find his wife gone, he notices a crow stalking around his yard.  As days go by with no word from his wife, more and more crows gather.

Frank Hill is sheriff in the seemingly pleasant town of White Creek. Up until recently, his job has been fairly mundane but after a recent spree of murders, bodies are beginning to pile up and Frank has no clue as to who the killer may be.

White Creek has kept its secrets hidden well over the years but the sins of its past are coming to light; the town harbors an evil and the bindings that keep it in check are beginning to unravel.

As Frank and Carl’s friendship is tested and their destinies are revealed, the dead accumulate while the crows watch and The Calling begins!

Available on:

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Brent Abell lives in Southern Indiana with his wife, sons, and a pug who sits around eating the souls of wayward people. His stories have been featured in over 30 publications from multiple presses. His work includes his novella In Memoriam, collection Wicked Tales for Wicked People, and novel Southern Devils; which are available now. He also co-authored the horror-comedy Hellmouth series. Currently, he is working on the second book in the Southern Devils series and the next book with Frank Hill in the White Creek Saga.

Facebook: Brent T. Abell
Twitter: @BrentTAbell
Blog: Our Darkest Fears