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In setting up my author page, I struggled with what to choose as my author byline. For those who know me, I haven’t exactly embraced concepts of social media, relegating the establishment of an author brand as something found in infomercials. I expressed my curmudgeon behavior of the subject recently at http://blameitonthemuse.com/confessions-of-a-website-avoider/ as DT Tarkus. The resulting commentary told me to suck it up and get with the program.  Sigh. 

An author friend of mine advised to look at my stories and find a common element.  I tend to write about YA protagonists ripped from normality to face dark, impossible situations. To me, it is about moving toward that proverbial light at the end of a long, seemingly-infinite tunnel.  Searching for light in the darkness. I’m not the first to make this connection.

Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it.– Terry Pratchett

When I think about it, we are conceived in darkness and after months in a lightless pool, we are born into light.  Warmth, food and a sensation of being loved by caring hands is for most, our first introduction to light.  It nurtures and fulfills our needs. The light is where we live, but darkness waits on the fringe to frighten us as children and make us shiver from the chill of its shadow.

People are like stained – glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within. — Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

The cliché of human character, the dark side is what Obi-Wan warned Luke to avoid in Star Wars, and we love a hero who struggles with inner demons while fending off those who embrace the darkness.  It is what makes fiction fun to read; creating characters who find that inner light inside themselves to overcome adversity.

So how can I express this concept in my website background?  Graphic art flourishes with dark themes and dystopian landscapes, but it tends to be predominately … dark.  Consider it destiny, or just plain dumb luck, I stumbled upon photographer Lori Nix, www.lorinix.net/index.html, and her prints that utilize dioramas to sculpt her theme.  The Library, comes from her collection of dystopian settings, The City.  Deeply rooted in the floor of a deserted library, a tree stretches toward the light from a crumbling roof.

Science has explained nothing; the more we know the more fantastic the world becomes and the profounder the surrounding darkness. — Aldous Huxley

Like it or not, we will always be searching for a light in the dark, and so will the characters in my stories.