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Welcome to the “Behind the Shadows” series of blog posts, where every week we will share a peek inside the minds of our authors and learn about the stories behind the stories. This week, Cameron Suey gets into the the apocalyptic inspiration behind his story, “The Crisis.”

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When I was asked to submit a story to Shadows Over Main Street, the first thing I did was a little dance, as I had been watching the project take shape with a mixture of interest and envy. The second thing I did was run my idea by the editors: I knew I wanted to write about the midcentury event that weighed heaviest on my imagination, the Cuban Missile Crisis. I knew a global geopolitical event wasn’t exactly the small town vibe the editors were shooting for, but having heard my family’s recollections of that October, I was confident I could tell that far reaching story from a much smaller viewpoint.

Of course, a writer feeling confident is just a prelude to a writer feeling like a total failure, and I quickly realized that I lacked the historical knowledge beyond my family’s vague apocalyptic recollections. I normally research basic details before I write, but for this story, I carefully planned out the timeline of actual history, and where I wanted to diverge into the supernatural. While most of the hard details of the Crisis were planed away in subsequent drafts as I focused on the human drama, I can still see the solid backbone of fact that, I hope, gives this story a cold grounding before the madness begins. I also spent an unusually obsessive amount of time visiting the small town of Plattsmouth on Google maps, plotting the locations of each house, the local Air Force Base, and Rebecca’s desperate night time bike ride, keeping as close as I could to the actual layout of the town.

In the end, I needed that grounding in reality in order to justify the story’s conclusion. In our world, that Saturday night in October marked the darkest point of the Crisis, as the powers that be rapidly moved towards resolution the following morning. In my world, (where I owe a debt to the incredible weird fiction that came from the wellspring of Lovecraft and his contemporaries) it’s only the beginning.

– Cameron

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Cameron Suey is a California native living in San Francisco with his wife (who can occasionally be convinced to edit his work, as long as it’s not too gross) and daughter. He works as a writer in the games industry, and along with several other talented writers, won the WGA Award for Videogame Writing in 2009 for “Star Wars: The Force Unleashed.” His work has appeared on the Pseudopod Podcast, several anthologies including A Quick Bite of Flesh and Horrific History, and was featured in the first issue of Jamais Vu: The Journal of Strange Among the Familiar. He can be found on the web at thejosefkstories.com, where he writes about writing, horror, and other influences, and on twitter as @josefkstories.

Cameron’s story appears in Shadows Over Main Street from Hazardous Press, available now: http://www.amazon.com/Shadows-Over-Main-Street-Lovecraftian-ebook/dp/B00SXHSYUK/ref=zg_bs_tab_pd_bsnr_3

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