Way back in the long ago before I became a full time author, I had a regular 8-to-5 desk job as a software test engineer. While it wasn't a soul sucking experience, it could be frustrating. There is a fine line between tact and self-righteousness for those with the job of pointing out defects in a product. It must be walked carefully in order to do your job without upsetting too many people.
By the end of the work week, I was usually brain dead and in need of escape. Writing is what I do to escape. I wrote short scenes and vignettes involving something I considered provocative or creepy. This included murder, stalkers, monsters, rituals, kidnappings and lots of other deliciously unsavory topics.
Why "In a Gilded Light"? Because I really like the word "gilded". It has several meaning but these two are my favorite:
B: to give an attractive but often deceptive appearance to
C: archaic: to make bloody
These two meanings define the collection I have written. Things often are not what they seem and, yes, there is a high body count.
Many of my In a Gilded Light vignettes are based on something that actually happened. It could have been something as simple as an off-hand comment by a friend, the taste of an unusual food, a commercial on TV or an event that happened to me personally. The strangest things inspire me. Something catches my eye or ear, the "Jenn filter" glosses over it and I would have that week's story. I even turned my husband's wedding proposal into an In a Gilded Light vignette.
One of my favorite things about my In a Gilded Light vignettes is the way I kill (curse, torture, etc) my friends in them. I only murder (in text) those I love. With permission, of course. I hated the thought of a perfect vignette about killing a friend making that friend mad at me. Worse still, having someone think I was serious.
After a short while, some of my friends asked, "When do I get killed? You can do what you want, just don't use spiders." Or, more intriguing still, "When do I get to be the murderer? I don't want to be killed but you can use me as the murderer." This opened up a whole new set of inspiration.
Each one of these vignettes is a little piece of me. To paraphrase a movie quote, "I see story ideas – all the time. They're everywhere. Just walking around like normal ideas. They don't know they're stories." I wrote these vignettes over a two-and-a-half year period with varying degrees of inspiration.
This compilation is perfect for people who have only a little time to read at one time. It is ideal for commuting, as a coffee table book or a book to leave in the bathroom. Each vignette takes minutes to read while giving the reader a story to think about for the rest of the day.
Dig in and sample my imagination. These are the things I think about every day. This vignette collection is a little part of me and I really enjoyed writing them. I hope you enjoy reading them.
Jennifer Brozek is a Hugo Award-nominated editor and an award-winning author. Winner of the Australian Shadows Award for best edited publication, Jennifer has edited fifteen anthologies with more on the way, including the acclaimed Chicks Dig Gaming and Shattered Shields anthologies. Author of Apocalypse Girl Dreaming, Industry Talk, the Karen Wilson Chronicles, and the Melissa Allen series, she has more than sixty published short stories, and is the Creative Director of Apocalypse Ink Productions.
Jennifer is a freelance author for numerous RPG companies. Winner of the Scribe, Origins, and ENnie awards, her contributions to RPG sourcebooks include Dragonlance, Colonial Gothic, Shadowrun, Serenity, Savage ... (more)