Themes of Love, Loss, and Transformation in A KIND OF DEATH
A Kind of Death is all about the themes of Love. Loss. Transformation.
It sounds heavy, of course it does. Death is never a subject to take lightly, and neither are the themes of love, loss, and transformation. But those themes can help to ease the ache of death, to help you see death in a different light. These themes are heavily prevalent in both my story in the anthology, “Nothing More Than Death,” how that story came to be, and in my own life this past year.
The first draft of “Nothing More Than Death” was written about eight years ago, when I was a moon-eyed teenager who thought writing a dark story about a prince who fell in love with Death would be edgy and sweet. I posted the first draft to a now-defunct website, and after the website broke up, it lived, forgotten on my computer for years as I went away to university, graduated, and moved back home.
Then this past November, I lost my mother to cancer. I can’t describe how it feels to watch someone you knew and loved so dearly wither away before your very eyes. So much of my life that I’d planned out—moving overseas to teach ESL, travelling, adventuring—all fell by the wayside under a blur of arrangements, grief, and trying to keep it all together as the seasonal holidays of Christmas and New Year’s, and then what would have been my mother’s 61st birthday in January, flew past me in a haze.
Life went on, and I slogged after it. I got a new job to pay bills and help reduce my stress levels, kept dreaming of the future, clung to life and its promises even when my mind was clouded by death.
Months later, the call for the anthology went out. I knew I had a story that fit the theme. It was still mostly a romance story at that time, fitting the theme mostly because it was about Death falling in love. I sent it to some fellow writer friends for feedback. Zimri A. Z. Zoran boosted my confidence with lovely encouragement that was a balm to my soul, and Savannah Jezowski so kindly encouraged me and suggested that perhaps my own experiences with grief could help in my approach to the story.
I’d read blog posts from fellow writer friends documenting the struggle of writing yourself and your experiences into a story. Now, I experienced it for myself. My love and loss seeped into the story through the rounds and rounds of edits, and the character that best reflects me and my journey isn’t who you might expect (no, I didn’t write myself into the story as the main character).
Thanks to the feedback and encouragement of these dear friends, this story now tells the tale of a prince who is still in love with Death—but it’s also about the “background characters”, the people who watch and weep and pray that Life will win over Death. It’s about the push-and-pull of life and death and love. It’s about what it’s like to watch someone you love pull away from you, their eyes on a horizon you cannot reach. It has romantic elements, but I no longer would describe it as a romance.
It’s about Loving, and Losing, and being transformed in how you view Life.
In the end, I hope “Nothing More Than Death,” and all the other stories and poems in this lovely anthology, help to transform your attitudes towards life, death, and suffering. I hope they make you think. I hope they encourage and comfort you as you live through your own times of love, loss, and transformation.
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About the Book
A princess who makes dangerous bargains with the afterlife. A man desperate to save his wife, no matter the cost. An uber driver for the undead.
Death, whether real or metaphorical, comes for us all. Yet it is not always the end. And in the depths of grieving can be the promise of hope and redemption.
The tales and poems in this anthology explore the depths of love, loss, and transformation. Whether in a reimagined folktale or a modern urban fantasy, A Kind of Death features a fine balance of tragedy and comedy, but always with a hint of wonder and hope.
As this anthology concerns matters of loss (all handled tastefully and without graphic depiction), certain stories might prove challenging for sensitive readers. Recommend reading with a hot beverage and/or a packet of tissues.
About the Publisher
Uncommon Universes Press is a traditional publishing company featuring fresh science fiction and fantasy stories with wonder, adventure, and sacrifice. Check out the links below to learn more!
Blog Tour Schedule
October 16 – Soleil Bourdon – Book Spotlight/Photo
October 17 – Janeen Ippolito – Book Spotlight/Theme Post
October 18 – Anna Tan – Story Spotlights
October 19 – Rosalie Valentine – Book Spotlight/Theme
October 20 – Jenelle Schmidt – Story Spotlight
October 21 – Terri Rand – Book Review
October 22 – Savannah Jezowski – Book Spotlight
October 23 – Liv K. Fisher – Book Spotlight/Theme Post
October 24 – Beka Gremikova – Theme/Other
October 25 – Savannah Grace
October 26 – Nicki Chapelway – Theme Post
October 27 – Zimri A.Z. Zoran – Story Spotlight
October 28 – Katherine Massengill – Book Spotlight/Theme Post
October 29 – Rebekah Gyger – Book Spotlight/Theme Post
October 30 – Cherise Taylor – Book Spotlight
October 31 – Heather Titus – Photos
November 1 – R.F. Gammon – Review/Theme Post