Thursday, October 22, 2015

Guest Post: The Attraction of Dark Forests by Alexa Piper

Update 10/23: Alexa Piper is not a pseudonym of A. E. Decker. See Alexa's updated bio at the end. Apologies for the confusion.

Today we have with us Alexa Piper. She is author of Luminous Dreams, a short story collection of paranormal erotic romance, published by World Weaver Press:

Dear Reader, allow me to begin this little post by explaining to you one of the (many) idiosyncrasies of the common writer. Sometimes we write stuff. We finish writing stuff and then we write more stuff. This process may repeat a couple more times depending on the individual writer's aptitude in procrastination, but eventually, we will come back to read what we wrote, and sometimes we notice that there is an overarching theme there, something that connects the thing we wrote three months ago to the piece we just finished the other day.

For me, I found that one of these themes was the attraction of forests dark and brooding, so it seems only fitting to collect my thoughts on the matter in a post.

First, let us ask what it is about the woods that makes you want to go there and get lost? Personally, I think that there are two aspects to this attraction.

One, and probably most obviously, is the need to get away from everything, escapism pure and simple. This is the very beast on whose back you rode to Middle Earth and Hogwarts, it's the trickster that seduced you into daydreams and comforted you more times than you can count. I explore this (among other things) in my short story The Acorn Princess (from my collection Luminous Dreams). The main character of the story, Alice, drives out to the woods because she has to get away from all the rest of the world. And of course she does, more so than she ever dared hope.

The other aspect that I think drives our longing for the woods is that--while we might get lost--we also hope to bring something back from among the loneliness of the trees. There are aspects of the quest in this for sure, but the woods are older, wilder, they follow their own ancient rules. It is perhaps not an accident that a story that plays with this aspect can also be found in Luminous Dreams. Candy and the Witch introduces Gretel, a rather competent witch. She heads for the woods, already searching for something. What--or rather who--she finds is not what she was looking for...or is it?

Is the enthralling power of the woods strong enough to make us misremember why we came there to begin with? If so, then what about the things and people we do find and take back home with us?

In romance (and it is something I love about the genre) the writer can take you right along for the ride of figuring that last part out, and it's a lot of fun, hopeful also for you, dear Reader.

Basically, if a reader has their her story-sized bite of escapism combined with the joy of discovering something she didn't know she wanted before, then all's well, as Shakespeare says. And of course it always ends well too; in your dreams, dear Reader, you can always go back to the woods after all, the place the writer introduced you to, but ultimately a place you created in your own mind, a place you own. And whenever you choose to re-read a tale, a story, these woods will always feel like your own place of discovery, something to hold very dear indeed, something to take home with you.


Alexa Piper enjoys writing, romance, and the paranormal. This said, becoming a paranormal romance writer seemed perfectly reasonable, but for Alexa, it is more than that; it's fun. Alexa’s work has appeared in the Red Moon Romance anthology Demons, Imps, and Incubi and The Naughty List. Luminous Dreams is Alexa's first collection, and she hopes her readers will have as much fun reading it as she had writing it. Check out Alexa’s online home (alexapiper.com) for all things related to her writing and be sure to follow her on Twitter @prowlingpiper.


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