Book Review: How to Write Dark & Twisty Books to Showcase the Light by Mary Gray

Rating: 5 out of 5.

“Just remember to have your inherently flawed heroes grow. Show us how, by the end, they ultimately climb out of their dark and troubled circumstances to find the greater light.”

Page 20

Where has this book been all my life? I’ve always been a fan of gothic literature, but I never really contemplated why, except maybe because I was just weird and creepy myself. Not long ago, I wanted to write about the purpose of gothic literature; particularly how it is meant to show audiences how characters seek to overcome the fear that plagues them in these stories. …And then voila! This book and author were recommended to me out of the blue as a sponsored ad on Facebook of all places.

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In this “how to” book, author of creepy tales Mary Gray guides readers and authors through 14 short chapters about how to bring light to dark tales. Using suspenseful examples from her own books, she gives short and sweet instruction about how to write foreboding morbidity honestly and authentically and explains to the reader “why we need dark books”. At the end of the book, she also shares a checklist with some ideas for authors to get in the writing mood and lists some links where to find her other books.


Christian author Mary Gray is the author of gothic tales like The Dollhouse Asylum and Our Sweet Guillotine, as well as some other instructional pieces of nonfiction like How to Write Clean Yet Scintillating Romance. She also edits creepy anthologies and can be found at  

Photo by Kaitlyn Jade on


  • Since she is a Christian author of my own faith, the tone of this book has a rather upbeat take on a genre that would seem otherwise dark.
  • Ties in finding the light in dark tales, which I think should be the point of even creating dark tales.
  • Defines genre and then adds her unique thoughts about it.


  • The short length.
  • It’s not in print form, just an eBook.
Photo by Anete Lusina on

I recommend this book to authors and readers who like gothic/dark stories, especially those who try to find light in dark places.

Published by Ashley Weaver

Author of historical fiction with a hint of the supernatural/fantasy

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