When Geoff Brown, of the newly-established Cohesion Press, approached me for a novella electronic reprint, I jumped at the chance to send him The History Thief. Edited by Gary McMahon for Visions Fading Fast, this is a story I consider one of my saddest.
It’s only 10,000 words, though and Geoff (who loved it) asked me if I’d like to submit four previously published stories, and make an actual collection.
I sent him four more.
He loved them.
This is all happening in a matter of hours, mind you, a pace almost unheard of.
Each of the stories explores loss and pain, the horrors of human behaviour, body image, obsession, love and despair.
As we worked towards a title, I read A Concise Encylopaedia of Psychiatry (see Refreshing the Wells 22) and came across the term The Gate Theory of Pain.
I knew I had my title.
As Geoff quotes on the Cohesion Press website, ‘We’re all in pain. We try to keep the gates closed by falling in love, travelling, avoiding responsibility, getting drunk, taking drugs… anything to lose ourselves. But the dull ache remains in each of us.
These stories are about the gates opening.’
AJ Spedding, a talented writer I mentored through the Australian Horror Writers Association, will write the introduction. I’m thrilled about this; I know she gets me and my stories. There will also be a link to an online story, written by AJ for this release. It’s a great initiative from Geoff Brown and Cohesion Press, with the intention of bringing readers to newer writers.