Art Imitates Life
By A.L. Mabry
Thank you for allowing me to speak with your fans today, and for being the latest stop on the Darker Daze Tour.
What made you write this story? What was your inspiration? You seem so sweet, where do these dark stories even come from?
These are all questions I get asked quite often. I think most people are shocked when they read my work and shocked further when I share some of my background. The stories in Darker Daze are fiction, I do want to be clear on that. However, many-if not most-are inspired by real events or a triggering event that sets off a “worst case scenario” thought process.
A perfect example would be the first story in the collection, Sweet Release. This story is a fictionalized retelling of some old journal entries I found. I remember the coffee cup incident like it was yesterday. I remember how hard I tried to be what we call today a “Pinterest Mom.” I expanded onto those memories with a “could have been” ending.
A lot of the fear and hurt that weaves through these stories can be traced back to my first marriage. I was married to a volatile narcissist. My life was a series of hellish days, weeks, months, and years where I tried to focus on raising my kids.
I don’t think you can truly appreciate safely until you have experienced a life of fear. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. So instead, I offer up the voyeuristic experience. You feel bad for your friend who you think might be in an abusive relationship. Your heart pangs for that troubled teen down the road. You melt when Bob from accounting smiles at you because you don’t know Bob has a doe eyed mom of four chained up in his basement.
Further into the collection we meet a wannabe author who is desperate to make a name for herself. Her story challenges you to think about your limits. How bad do want the things you want? Do you want it bad enough to sacrifice others?
Most of my stories don’t have a happy ending. Satisfying? Mostly. But not happy. Why? Why not expose the ugly and end on a high note? Because even the stories with unhappy endings deserve to be told. The last night that I believed I would die by my ex-husband’s hand, it occured to me how often we prefer happy endings in fiction and how my story wouldn’t qualify.
Well, gosh, Amanda! That’s just depressing! Why should we even read your work? I do have a message of hope! Me, the author. I survived. I escaped. I want to show other women they can get out of these toxic relationships and move on to live happy fulfilled lives. Writing Darker Daze has been so therapeutic for me and I hope that I will be able to build a platform off of this project with which I can reach out to others. I want them to read my words and know, really know, that I understand. I’m not just the smiling face on a Survivors Campaign. I have worn the tear-streaked war paint.
Humanity is a beautiful, awful thing. Multifaceted with love and hate, purity and evil. We aren’t celebrating the dark side of humanity in Darker Daze. We are simply pulling back the rotting scar and exposing it to the light.
We would love for you to join the tour and learn more about this collection and the author.
If you would like to order Darker Daze: The Storm Within, it is available on Amazon.
Until next time,
Scribe Happy and Stay Sassy.