My short story “Black Dog” is out today – nothing like starting the New Year right with a bit of black magic from our friends the Merchant clan. You can read it here, or download your very own copy from Issuu.
“Black Dog” has its roots in a story my mother told me when I was a child. She grew up in southern West Virginia, a hill woman to the core, and i grew up on tale after tale of Appalachian witching, ghosts and wicked souls. The story had to do with a mysterious black dog that appeared after someone died. It showed up at the house during the wake, then at the graveside, and then it went away – and no one ever knew whose dog it was or where it came from.
That story wove its way into other kinds of tales, too, of witches and their familiars, and the eerie stories of strange people in old houses. Joss Merchant and his clan of witches and black magic traffickers came later, when I created the world of Sorrows Hill, with its connections to mid 19th century Appalachia, the world of Faerie and the present day.
Magic runs through the members of the Merchant clan, however hard they try to avoid it. And they do try. This story introduces the granddaughter of the great witch Joss. We’ll see more of her later on.
Through my design site Luna Blue Studios I created the cover art and package for this story, and published it on Issuu. Of the various magazine-style publishing sites I’m most partial to Issuu, even with its drawbacks (which I’ll talk about in another post). Issuu’s publications have a worldwide reach and are very easy to create – a good combination for making visually rich work available to a wider audience.
What did you think of Black Dog? If you like it, please share! And sign up here as a fan to get updates on new stories and other updates from the worlds of Sorrows hill and the Moon Road.