Ciara Darren is the creative pen under which I write epic and paranormal fantasy, the kind of fantasy that I want to read, such as Judith Tarr, Anne McCaffrey, and Kevin Hearne. There has also been an influx of Anne Rice on my reading list, both from her Vampire Chronicles and her erotica. While you will find many references in my posts to childhood fairytales, I do not write fantasy for children. This is raw, unapologetic storytelling that does not pretend romanticize or glaze over the crucible through which heroes and villains travel to become what they are. My stories are dark. While the characters always struggling towards triumph, love, freedom, or survival, the mud, blood, and tears run thick. My characters sweat, cry, curse, become abandoned, loose their faith, take walks on the dark side, and question the meaning of life. They also discover what loves looks like at the bottom of the pit, who will stay beside them, and how much more they have inside them than they could have imagined. They discover beauty that will not be destroyed.