October is an exciting month for me, with three publications (so far, eh? EH?) in the books for this month. This first is my story “Sleepwalker” in Alban Lake Press’s Potter’s Field 6, which is currently available in both print and digital. There are plenty of other good stories in there, too, but, of course, I’m here to talk about my own work.
I started “Sleepwalker” with the express purpose of submitting to this anthology; I seem to do the best when I’m writing for a particular publication. Sometimes I worry that a specific focus on a prompt or a theme can make my writing seem forced and insincere, but I was really proud of what developed out of “Sleepwalker.” I tapped into something that’s bound to bring good stuff out of a writer: my childhood and my family. Anyone who knew me growing up will recognize a lot of my hometown in the setting of this story, and it really brought me back to a particular place in the world that really shaped who I am.
“Sleepwalker” is the story of Jeremy Reynolds, a man who seems to have things pretty good. He’s got a beautiful and talented wife whose talent allows him the freedom to pursue his own dream of farming, as his father and grandfather before him did. They have three clever children, and a nice little life together. The only hiccup in it all is the fact that Jeremy has been sleepwalking all of a sudden for unknown reasons, always waking up underneath the willow tree at the back of their property. Little does he know, but his strange behavior is directly linked to an uneasiness that he didn’t realize was developing inside of him, the root of which is his daughter Annie. He thinks its something as simple as her growing older, from a precocious child to a teenager he can’t understand, but there’s something much more disturbing below the surface.
If you get the chance, please head on over to Alban Lake Press and considered purchasing a copy and giving it a read. You won’t be disappointed, I promise! I put quite a bit of my heart into this one, and I really enjoyed writing it. Its one of those stories that a writer absolutely lives for, giving the the opportunity to tap into emotions and experiences that I wouldn’t personally be able to have, to speculate on the relationship between a caring father and the alien creature that used to be his daughter. I know that relationship from the daughter side, but it was a real ride to try to captivate it from that of the father.