by Thadd Presley
Over the years, following my first novel “Shallow Grave” there has always been one nagging question: Was the book a product of my imagination or did I sell my soul for it? Late at night, as the fear of hell and eternal damnation seem the realest, I tell myself that I’d know if I’d sold my soul? It wouldn’t be something I could forget or suppress. After all, how could selling my soul be so easy? It’s not like I have a receipt laying around in case I didn’t get everything I ever wanted.
While the book has done very well and led me to a good career, the money hasn’t exactly been in the millions. I’ve been fortunate enough to travel to many of the nicer places in North America, Canada included, more than I ever thought I would actually, and I spent time in the most famous European hot spots. Through publisher conferences, book signings, and writer retreats I’ve seen much of the world.
During the release of the second book, I was even fortunate enough to take my family to Ireland and just a year later we spent a month in Australia together. It’s been great.
More books followed, proving my success wasn’t a fluke, more than enough to convince me that my accomplishments were my own. Sells were enough to keep my children in college and the family comfortable, although we weren’t able to take vacations every year and I certainly never become famous.
In fact, after the first few late night talk shows and half a dozen book signings beside the leaders in the horror genre, I realized I didn’t want to be a famous person. Fifteen minutes was more than enough. Any more attention would have caused problems between my ego and the antisocial disorder that had been working so well for me. I was a writer after all, not an entertainer, and I wanted things to remain just as they had been all along.
But, that’s just where the fear found it’s greatest foothold. During all those sleepless nights, if I was fortunate enough to sleep at all, the nightmares and horrors were just beyond the veil of consciousness. No matter how sure I was of my innocence, the fear always found a piece of solid ground large enough to support the weight of it’s accusations. Often where the fog of memory and shadow of guilt came together, I’d find myself facing certain truths that convicted me thoroughly and deeply.
I never wanted fame. I didn’t write to attain a fortune. I wrote because I wanted to have a writer’s life. I wrote so I could find a woman who would someday become a loving wife. Together, I wanted us to become comfortable with a family.
As I am often reminded by the black and faceless accusers, who derail my dreams into darkness and depravity: I got everything I wanted. Everything I could reasonably ask for and expect to receive has been delivered into my life on time and in just the right amount, as if I ordered it direct from a warehouse.