Who’s Afraid of the Dark? by Linda Thomas-Sundstrom

Hello readers, writers, and every combination. Thanks for joining me today on Cynthia’s blog to chat about the DARK, and how darkness has always been an inspiration for writers.

TrappedInStone_400x600_2Are you afraid of the dark?
Does it scare you when the sun goes down?
How about when you turn the lights off?

Check this out: There’s even a clinical name for this fear. Achluophobia. (Fear of darkness)

This fear, even in part, is what causes an adrenaline rush and raises the hair little hairs on our arms. It also brings in big bucks to Hollywood movie and television producers with creepy supernatural based shows. And we eat it right up, don’t we? Confess, do you watch Grimm, Supernatural, Ghost Hunters, and all the rest? At least two of shows based on the supernatural?

As a child, I was afraid of the night as much as any kid is. But then a funny thing happened. My family started having a ghost story night on Halloween, where we listened to scary tales and made some up of our own. Each family member had to write one, and read theirs. And guess what happened? I started writing about darkness way back then, and about the things that go bump inside it . . . and I still do. 🙂

Did I lose that little fear of complete darkness? Heck no. But I explored that fear and became well acquainted with it. I wrote gothics and fairy tales and fantasies about roads and roadside attractions that never die. Eventually, that desire to explore flowed into writing paranormal romance and urban fantasy for New York publishers.

Next step in the process of exploration: darkness has an opposite. Light.

The difference is always blatant. It’s light or it’s dark. Black or white. A person is good, or they’re bad. Right? Good versus Evil? Heaven versus Hell. The list goes on of what we accord to darkness and light, and even includes genre markers like dark stories versus light stories . . .

I have always written two kinds of paranormal romance – dark and deep for Kensington Brava and Harlequin Nocturne (the Wolf Moons series, Vampire Moon series, etc), and light and fluffy for Dorchester, Amazon Montlake and indie (Barbie and the Beast, Veronica and the Vampire). The differences are incredibly unique to each style. But again . . . the middle ground began to fascinate me. The neither this or that.

So, I started a new series based on the grey zone between the two opposites, and what happens there. The place where two sides meet up by accident and have to deal on a plane that neither side is completely comfortable with. This is where my current inspiration thrives.

The new stuff is a series of Urban Fantasy novellas under the heading of what else but Dark vs Light.
I have two stories out so far. “Trapped in Stone” came out in September, and this month’s release is “Hot Holiday.” Both take place in the grey zone in more ways than just utilizing night and day as settings. These stories explore both sides of the coin in as many ways as possible, even the concepts of Good vs Evil, and what happens when those concepts are questioned by rebellious characters from each side who find themselves in foreign territory and conflicted.
You know . . . the dark character that has to step into the light on an assignment, or vice versa. The light character willing to sell her soul in order to help someone she loves.

Heavy stuff? Don’t you believe it. Doesn’t have to be so very angsty. My exploration is done with a neutral hand, and the result is slightly quirky urban fantasy romance.

Here’s the briefest blurb for this month’s release, “Hot Holiday,” to show you what I mean:

The Dark Side has put out a hit on Santa Claus and sent a Recruiter named Wanda to seal the deal. But Wanda has to first get past Santa’s hot, heavenly bodyguard . . .

Imagine the fun (and okay, a little soul-searching), that goes on with an outline like that. And the bliss of writing about it. I felt like I’d hit the jackpot in terms of storylines and inspiration. My Muse sag 24/7, and continues to do so, though I have other deadlines to meet before writing a third story in this series.

I’m really excited about it, and penning some Urban Fantasy, where the ending doesn’t have to be assured as an HEA, but just might end in a similar, satisfactory fashion. The possibilities are endless… and I am on it!

Well, I hope you’ll come on this exploration with me, and visit the grey zone that is not composed of fifty shades, but is gravel-grey, with splashes of color coming in from above and below. Fast-paced, good-sized novellas that might (or night not) cause a smile. But in any case, it’s fresh ground, which I believe makes these stories unique.

So ——– dark versus light? Which kind of reading do you prefer?
And are you willing to try out something different – in books, movies, and TV?

I’m here today to listen and answer questions. So please do leave a wave and let me know you were here. Communicating is what life is all about, and I’d love to meet YOU.

Oh, and by the way, one luck commenter will receive a backlist book. Win-win! An early holiday gift from me to you. After all, who doesn’t love presents!

Waving to you first . . . and waiting for you to find me.

Visit my web site to see what’s what: www.lindathomas-sundstrom.com
And let’s be friends on Facebook: www.facebook.com/LindaThomasSundstrom

HotHoliday_400x600_2“Hot Holiday” link to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Hot-Holiday-Dark-vs-Light-ebook/dp/B00GD2LVGG/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1383320940&sr=1-2&keywords=linda+thomas+sundstrom

Excerpt: “Hot Holiday”

Cameron reached for Wanda the same instant she spread her red wings. With her back to him, she looked like a butterfly with its back ablaze.

He caught the edge of the underside of one of her wings as they beat the air, pinning her in place as she leaned over the edge of the rooftop. “Come with me,” he said.

She wriggled slightly. Her voice was throaty. “In case you don’t know it, they’ve sent backup. Maybe even a replacement.”

“I saw the thing in the hallway.”

“That was kid’s stuff.”

She whirled around, nearly tearing the wing he held onto. Her face was white and trapped in a frown. Her eyes were darkened by the starless night. “I will get Santa Claus,” she said. “It’s what I do. The only thing I do.”

He had grown increasingly warmer with her nearness. Now that he’d been intimate with her, Cameron’s temperature soared. He couldn’t have been hotter if he’d been standing on a floor heater.

Her feathers were incredibly soft, a pure tactile delight. But something else kept him riveted. Though Wanda had tried hard to hide it, he heard the faint hiccup of vulnerability in her voice. Maybe that small hint of vulnerability didn’t suit her, but it affected him. It made him wonder what was going on behind those hypnotic eyes and why this infamous Recruiter would take him on. Why hadn’t she made any real play for his client when it was obvious by her appearance at his door that that’s what she’d originally had in mind.

The black mass in the hallway had angered and upset her. The voice calling to her from the street had doubled that anger. If the Underworld had sent backup, shouldn’t she have welcomed the help?

As he observed the ongoing quiver of the wicked, colorful aura that made Wanda seem immensely touchable and fragile, he also understood that as a Recruiter, Wanda’s acting skills would necessarily be well-honed. There was a possibility that this flirty little escapade had been part of her plan to separate him from Santa, while creating an atmosphere of empathy for one of the damned.

Beautifully erotic Wanda could, at that very moment, be thinking him a sucker.

11 thoughts on “Who’s Afraid of the Dark? by Linda Thomas-Sundstrom

  1. I think I like dark, dark. I enjoy THE WALKING DEAD and TRUE BLOOD, although the latter has some humorous moments. The premise for HOT HOLIDAY sounds most entertaining. I may have to explore the lighter side of dark.

    • Hello Roxy B…. thanks for the wave on a Monday morning, and confessing your preference in supernatural categories. True Blood is a mixed bag of genres, and I like that a lot. It’s what I write in this particular novella. Quirky, but dark. My other stuff goes down deep to the dark bones. LOL.For this upcoming holiday season…. I wanted to stay on Santa’s NICE list. I do hope you’ll give Hot Holiday and Trapped in Stone a try. Let me know if you do.

  2. Yikes! Look out Santa!!! 🙂

    I’ve got this novella waiting for me in my Kindle… Just have to finish writing this other book and then I can read… YAY!!!

    Congratulations on the new release Linda!

    Lisa 🙂

  3. I’ve got to admit, I am a huge chicken when it comes to the dark! Like I can freak myself out. I don’t think it’s the concept of the dark or the lack of light that is what’s most scary. It’s the not knowing… it’s the overactive imagination that carries things over the top. For me, it’s my imagination that causes me the worst grief. I’ve never been attacked by a monster (Humanoid or otherwise), I’ve never seen or heard of an ax murderer in any area I’ve lived in (there was the Reseda Slasher when I was in high school… spooky)… but that doesn’t stop my mind from creating vampires, werewolves, murderers (and never the hot sexy kind of any of these) and that is what really scares me… what I can think up. Somewhere inside, I really believe that if you can think it, it has to have some truth to it. Yes, I’m afraid of the dark… I say it with pride. It will serve me well at some point besides writing in my life. 😉


    • LOL. Jesse…. that post rocks. I hope you have plenty of flashlights around, cuz daylight savings time is HERE, and it’s dark early. Oh my.
      Thanks for leaving a wave…
      Linda, Supernatural Mistress of the Dark

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *