My Story “On the Quest for the Crow King” is now available as part of a massive anthology from Scarlet Galleon. It’s a huge book, with 50 stories of dark, autumn themed horror. It should make for good autumn and winter reading and I’m as excited to read the other stories as I am to have one of my own there.
Want to know something weird? This is the most autobiographical story I’ve ever written. In other words, some of the things that happened in this story really happened to me. A little background:
Instead of myself as the lead, I chose a friend (and changed his nationality but not his name) to star in this story of dark magic and shamanism. His female coPOV is not based on anyone, although her name–Natalie–came about from a Natalie Imbrugela song coming on in the cafe when I was first plotting this story. That cafe–new at the time–was gone a month or two later and so I consider her name rather fortuitous.
The crows are really big, and the persimmon trees (감) are a part of autumn I’ve never had before but up there with pumpkins and leaves as a key part of the season. But the reason the Crow King is in the story is because one of my favorite students was trying to tell me about a story or a video game and he just kept saying “Teacher, Crow King.” It sounded kind of cool, and his (its) existence basically wrote the rest of the story.
Moonbears are real too, although they are endangered and I’ve never seen a wild one in real life. It’s quite sad what’s happening to them, and why, but major efforts are being made. (My working title for this story was “Monks & Moonbears.”)
This is what the terrain looks like, so imagine being chased down something like this.
There is not, to my knowledge, a lot of urban fantasy set in Seoul. That in itself is strange, as it’s the 2nd largest urban environment in the world. There is a unique, rich history here as well. This story was rejected quite a few times and it’s word count varied from 9000 all the way down to 4000. This version, a trim 5000 words, has found a home, and I couldn’t be happier than to have it here.
As always, I’m happy to hear all feedback.