Lighthouses: An Anthology of Dark Tales (Black Beacon Books, 2015) is a unique anthology of mystery, suspense, horror, and dark fantasy set in and around lighthouses. The editor, Cameron Trost, regularly visits Byron Bay, a coastal town in New South Wales which is more famous for its lighthouse than its connection to a British literary great. It was probably during one of these weekends away that the idea first came to him. Lighthouses are, of course, the perfect setting for a dark tale. They are positioned along hazardous coastlines and are often in isolated locations. There is automatically potential for drama. Add a storm and an unexpected visitor, and you already have the premises for a gripping story.
This anthology features contributions from fourteen talented authors from Australia, Britain, and the United States, and despite the central theme, each tale has distinct characters and an inimitable plot. You will meet murderers and lunatics, listen to the ravings of cult leaders, be visited by ghosts, and find yourself in a time warp or two. The settings are similarly varied; Duncan Richardson takes us to a Welsh lighthouse perched on a tiny island, Alice Godwin, David Dolan, and Cameron Trost hint at particular stretches of the Australian coastline, Scottish writer B.T. Joy takes us on a psychologically tough trip to America, Linda Brucesmith’s tale of magical realism brings the Byron Bay lighthouse to life, and both Sam Muller and Deborah Sheldon give the theme an unexpected twist by writing about lighthouses and beacons of a different kind altogether.
The anthology was launched last November at a picnic lunch in Byron Bay – read about it here: Lighthouses Book Launch. The day started off raining and finished with a huge storm later in the evening, but the weather was perfect for the launch itself. Five of the authors (Linda Brucesmith, Danielle Birch, Alice Godwin, David Dolan, and Cameron Trost) were there with family and friends, and one of the local volunteers from Byron Bay Lighthouse Friends and Volunteers joined us. The book sold out on the day, but do not fret, you can order a print copy or download the ebook any time of the day from the Black Beacon Books shop: Lighthouses on Black Beacon