Dark Themes in 'The Ghost of Crow Cavern'

After having the initial idea for writing a fictional fantasy story about squirrels, my intention was merely to write an exciting tale.

Did you know initially that the story would be dark?

In a way, the story developed organically. From the first conceptions I had a vague idea that these visiting grey cousins from afar were not going to be all that they initially seemed. How despicable they would become was at the time of writing unknown.

Did you know who the readership would be?

Having no idea that the story would become a published book I didn't really concern myself to any potential readership. This worked well in one way as it allowed me the freedom to write without any chains, I did not have to worry about the themes being suitable for any targeted readership. The flip side of this came once the book was considered for publication and Norman and I were trying to decide on the age group to which the story was most suited.

Which dark themes are in the story?

The story is lined with dark themes from torture and violence, loss of freedom, bullying and desecrating anything that the reds value as sacred. The Grey oppressors trample all over the Red's culture and their way of life.

What is the darkest scene?

It is difficult to say which scene is the most dark as what is dark depends on the individual. However, the scene which I find the most dark is when Brutenuts is strung up between two thick tree trunks and is at the mercy of his captives.

Brutenuts is legendary among the reds and it is said that he is so huge that he must have come from an ancient legendary giant species called the Colossi. However, once captured and brutalized his spirit reaches such depths that it seems all hope is lost. Skug Butcher the gigantic grey believes that Brutenuts is the leader of the reds based on his relative size and he deals with Brutenuts with a toxic mix of psychological and physical abuse.

Is the book all dark?

Absolutely not and in a way if the book was to have a central message it would be 'no matter how dark life becomes there is always hope,' The story is also sprinkled with humour and light.

Hope Springs Eternal.......Alexander Pope


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