I don’t even know how I got involved in Underground Rising. I think I clicked on an interesting looking link on Facebook, and next thing you know I get this email saying “Would you like to join…”
To which I promptly replied, “Yeah, sure,” because that’s what I do.
And that led to me becoming involved in Dark Continents Publishing, and that, if all goes according to plan, will lead to some Pretty Big Stuff in my life. But I digress.
Underground Rising is an online dark fiction collaborative story. The premise is simple: What if you woke up one day, and everyone in the world decided to kill themselves? Everyone, that is, except for horror writers.
The contributing writers take turns writing a 1000 word chapter of the story. Just to make things really interesting, the writers have to write themselves into the story, whilst fictionalizing everybody else (except for the other contributing writers…are you still with me?).
To start with, I found it harder than it sounds. I couldn’t create myself on the page without some reference to my family, because they make me who I am. Cliched, but true. And I couldn’t include my family because the rules of the project say that the only real people we are allowed to portray in the story are ourselves and the other writers.
So I bent the rules somewhat. My daughters do not exist at all in Underground Rising World (sorry, girls – the alternative was to fictitiously kill you off in a gruesome fashion, and I couldn’t face that). My husband rates a very brief mention at the beginning and is never seen or heard of again (again – my apologies, sweetheart). My son, very thinly disguised, stays. The body count in his stories are sometimes higher than in mine, so I think that qualifies him to live in this fictional world.
Once I got my head wrapped around it, it became strangely liberating to write. I didn’t have to worry about having a Worthy Theme. I didn’t have to worry about finding a market for the piece. I could be as gory and graphic and crazy as I wanted. And I could get fictional revenge on the builders next door who park across my driveway on school days and wake me up at 6.30am on Saturday mornings.
Underground Rising. Dreaming up inventive new ways of killing everybody, so you don’t have to.