In a Gilded Light: 105 Tales of the Macabre

by Jennifer Brozek
Release date: 2010
Type: speculative fiction
Genres: fantasy, horror, short stories

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.

updated 2011-12-09

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Death at the Blue ElephantRumours of the MarvellousLost Souls (Reviver Trilogy, #2)Forgotten Hymns of the Death AngelsNorthanger Abbey and Angels and Dragons
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