A lot of my stories are dark; I have a dark past. We can all draw on experience, but the only way to draw on experience with *perspective* is to be beyond it some – so it’s past experience, not the present. I can be as chipper as anything and write about children dying in the sewers alone, with no one to hear their screams. I was never trapped in a sewer, but who doesn’t know what fear is – that fear when, for at least a moment, it seems like nothing in the world knows or cares what happens to you? If we felt it deeply enough, and we’re past it far enough to gain some perspective, we can write the Hell out of that stuff.