By Becca Blake

The world is scary right now, and a lot of people are turning to stories for an escape. It makes sense; when times are dark, there’s something to be said for escaping into a happier world, where right and wrong are black and white, and you can always count on a happily ever after.

I love that upbeat stories exist. I love that comedies and sweet romances exist. They’re just not for me. 

Just as stories with a darker edge to them aren’t for everyone, either.

I suffer from anxiety and depression. Every day, I fight a battle in my own mind that feels hopeless, and  with everything going on in the world, these days are no different. So why, when I turn to TV shows and books for entertainment, would I want to spend time with stories and characters that feel just as bleak and hopeless? 

There’s a simple answer to that: I want to read stories that find hope despite the darkness. I want to read about characters who don’t give up even in a cruel, uncaring world, who make tough choices that aren’t always the right ones.

That’s what feels real to me. That’s why I read, and that’s why I write.

My Reign of Blood series is set in a dark fantasy world. The prequel novella, Blood King, is featured in Darkness Rising. It’s not a hero’s journey; it’s a story about trying to hold onto humanity in a world that seems hopeless.

Sometimes today’s world feels just as dark. I don’t just want to escape from that for a brief time while I’m reading a book, or watching a movie. I want to read stories that make me feel that if the characters I love can overcome an overwhelming darkness, maybe I can, too. 

There’s a very popular quote from Harry Potter that has stuck with me for a long time.

“Happiness can be found in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”

I want stories about finding a way to turn on the light, even when it seems impossible to do so.