By Anna McEvoy
‘Won’t the world run out of stories eventually?’
We were waiting in line at a busy cinema, and my friend was concerned Hollywood was scraping the barrel of available stories with yet another remake. This was a long time ago, back when I was new to writing, and crowded cinemas weren’t a public health concern. As an emerging writer, the idea that there might be a limit on the number of stories waiting to be told should have terrified me, but even then I knew instinctively—stories are infinite.
It’s every writer’s dream to create engaging stories that readers will love. But perhaps it’s more important that we’re fanning the flames of creativity in others. Because when you write a story, you’re not taking from a limited supply—you’re adding to the collective well of creativity.
Writers have unique personalities, experiences, and talents that shape our stories and how we tell them. And every person who reads those stories will interpret them differently, allowing the same story to plant seeds that take root as something completely different in each reader. It could lead to the reader engaging in their own creative outlet, or simply viewing the world around them in a new light.
I experienced such inspiration after reading The House with Chicken Legs by Sophie Anderson, a middle-grade novel inspired by the Eastern-European Baba Yaga folktale. The protagonist, 12-year-old Marinka, helps her grandmother, Baba Yaga, guide the dead to the afterlife. One of her jobs is to light candles inside skulls every night to welcome the departed.
I was fascinated with the idea that the dead need a guide, and I had the chance to explore this concept further when I contributed to an anthology related to lighthouses. I imagined that a lighthouse beacon would be more effective than candles at drawing the dead, and that a broken heart could serve as a portal between worlds. These ideas became Last Light, my story in the anthology, set in a land-locked lighthouse in the Australian bush.
Lighthouse – An Anthology is a unique multi-genre collection of short stories that celebrate lighthouses. From sci-fi and fantasy to romance and crime – and everything in between – Lighthouse features exciting voices from emerging and established Australian writers.
Secure your copy now or find out more here.