Catharsis

Since I was a kid I dabbled with writing. Back then it was the odd short story or a poorly
drawn comic book. But even today, my imagination still likes to run away with itself.

My first foray in to serious writing was actually a blog about economics which you
wouldn’t necessarily expect from a fiction author. I put down my pen, when for a host of
reasons, my professional life and my blog could no longer coexist.

When I took up writing again in early 2015 it was under completely different
circumstances. Over the prior six months the amount of change I had experienced was
staggering. My wife was diagnosed with a life altering disease, my son was born, and I
was struggling under the workload of a stressful new job.

My active imagination is a blessing and a curse. At that point in my life, I hated it. My
catastrophizing went in to overdrive. Every complication between work, health and
family that could happen to my wife, son or myself became a certainty in my mind. At a
time when I should have been celebrating this wonderful gift of a beautiful baby boy, my
entire outlook on life took a dark turn. For the first time in my life I was battling
depression. Anxiety ate away at me daily.

After several months of this I knew it had to stop. I started reading about mindfulness,
meditation and living in the present moment. Then an idea struck me. More an image
really. I envisioned this alabaster tower in the middle of an open field under a crimson
sky. On one side of the tower was a relentless tide of demons creeping out of the dark
holes of our past. On the opposite side of the tower was a never-ending rockslide of
infinite possible paths to destruction. Soldiers fought an endless battle to protect the
fortress from its twin fates. This castle was a caricature of the present moment trying to
shield itself from traumatic memories on one side and anxiety and dread on the other.

I felt compelled to bring this idea to life. Nearly three years later, We Follow the Dying
Light, is the result of pouring all my anxiety in to something productive. I took all the
torture I was inflicting on myself out of my head and put it on the page. I never set out to
write a thriller. Early drafts of the book felt more like a journal. But as I refined the idea it
became clear there was something special buried in that mental mess. For every word you
read in We Follow the Dying Light, two more were left on the editing room floor. But
every written word, included or not, is a little piece of my catharsis. I hope you enjoy
reading about the journey as much I did writing it.

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