One of the reasons for doing this blog was to give some background to the stories as they were published. I’ve been a litle slack recently so I’ll fill in the gap between story news with a little ‘behind the scenes’ for Path, published in Fantastic Horror #13
The story was written two years ago during the several months I was at home before the birth of our 2nd child. In between looking after our eldest and doing the house duties while my wife was finishing up at work, I took inspiration for a newspaper article to write Pah.
The article was published in The Age newspaper, in one of their weekend supplements. From memory (I may have the clipping somewhere), the writer was discussing how her father had once related a story about a house he had lived in, where there was something distinctly odd about the side of the house and how he would never venture down there after a particular incident. From that emerged my story.
Only after the story had been finished did I realise that I’d actually used the house we were living in at the time as inspiration for the layout of the fictional version. Same gravel path, same gate at the end of it (sans the ivy) and same positioning of the daughter’s bedroom. I never mentioned it to my wife who isn’t a fan of spooky stuff, but inspiration does come from many and varied sources.
Path had a slightly bumpy publishing history. Pantechnicon rejected it initially and it languished on my hard drive for the better part of 18 months until I subbed it to Fantastic Horror. It’s an earlier version of the family in peril trope that I used again in The Copse (coming soon to Pseuodpod!) and I’ve really cranked the atmosphere to eleven (which would lead some to argue it is overwritten, but there you go).