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What Inspired Aphotic Love?

April 29th, 2022, marks the beginning of Aphotic Love's release journey into the world, starting with the eBook!

Aphotic's eBook is now available for download on Kindle and Kindle Unlimited.

Pre-orders for the paperback and hardback are open internationally through major retailers like Amazon and Barnes&Noble, and also available for USA and Canada on my shop!

But why make an anthology about Aphotic Love?

Almost a year ago, around May 9th, 2021, I started writing short stories alongside Katie Marie using picture prompts. One of the first prompts we chose was three images of a boy kissing a girl's cheek, first as children, then as adults, then as an elderly couple.

Out of that picture prompt the story The Price to Truly Live was born. This short story about a sun god and moon goddess who give up all their immortality and power simply to live as mortal creatures and learn about love, was one of the first short stories I've ever written that I truly enjoyed, truly loved.

It was the first time I realized the power of short stories and the first time I fell in love with them.

I wrote more short stories after that, and even got back into poetry. But one theme that always seemed to flow through my stories was that of a deeper, darker side of love. Not just the sweet, happily ever after kind of love, but the kind that often doesn't make sense, that burns, aches, numbs us, makes us feel more alive than anything else ever could.

I've always been drawn toward tragedy, especially tragic romance.

From this imminent desire with tragic love was birthed the idea of an anthology, filled with gut-wrenching love that would turn your world upside down and make you feel more than you had ever thought possible from words on a page. A collection of short stories and poetry that, through understanding the darkest parts of the best things in life, made you feel truly alive.

The Price to Truly Live was the story that birthed this anthology. It was everything I thought the anthology should stand for—a love so deep, it passed comprehension.

So, with this idea, this hope and desire in mind, Aphotic Love was born, and dedicated to everyone who ever loved and lost, and to those who loved the deepest.

Initially, wanted to write every story and poem in this anthology. Until I realized

no one person can truly understand the aphotic depths of love.

I needed other authors. Others who saw and experienced loved differently. I needed more than just my own thoughts, ideals, hopes, horrors, and dreams of love if I truly wanted to explore the depths of romance. So, I opened the anthology to the public, calling all other villainous, passionate, and tragic romance authors.

With every story that I read and accepted into the collection, I was blown away by the astonishing depth each author reached with their words, their experiences, their deepest callings from the heart. The colors and shapes of love that appear in their words are so radically different from each other. It's less like looking at a quilt a more like looking at all the different creatures, plants, rocks, and trees in a forest. But one thing always remained the same—a gripping depth of romance.

But what to name such a collection?

What better than Aphotic—the word that literally means having no light, specifically sunlight?

The anthology grew beyond what I thought it would, but despite having almost fifty different authors and even more stories and poems, it never strayed from its core values. Rather, each story and voice bring new joy, sorrow, and perspective to the twisting, traitorous feeling we like to call love.

I am very pleased to now be able to present to you the official Aphotic Love Anthology by Dragon Bone Publishing, now available worldwide.




Devoid of light. A depth beyond comprehension.

Everything that stands in the light

Also has a side that stands in the darkness.

Love is no exception.

Love is often depicted as light, joyful, fun, exciting, carefree ...

But there is also a darker side to love—a deeper, frightening, desperate, tragic side.

Dare to dive deep into this raw, emotional collection of short stories, prose, and poems which strives to expose the lightless side of tragedy, heartbreak, desperation, and love.

From the love of gods and goddesses to mortals who fell in love with death to the love forbidden between commoners. From pure sweet romance gone astray to villains who loved the hero.

An actress no longer acting she's in love, a phoenix whose lover gives everything to be with her reborn, a villain who burned the world so his love could be the hero, two immortals who give up everything to live and love, a lonely queen whose touch turns loved ones to ice, a romantic moment re-lived and lost in gold paint. Promises made and promises broken.

Some fall in love.

And some fall out.

After all, ... all's fair in aphotic love ...


Don't forget to download your eBook of Aphotic Love or pre-order the paperback or hardback!

May the suns smile upon your presence,

—Effie Joe Stock

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