Raven Publishing created Dark Trails Press to publish a book that didn't fit the genre already published by Raven. Raven Publishing originally specialized in "True Fiction" for the middle-grade reader, and gradually expanded to include young adult and adult "true fiction," memoir, and historical fiction including some legal murder mysteries set in Montana. The question asked in deciding whether to publish a book, story, or poem under Raven or Dark Trails comes down to this: Is there a reason we would not want a young Miranda and Starlight fan, someone in the under-12 age bracket to read it? If the answer is yes, it goes under Dark Trails, an imprint for adults and older teens. At Dark Trails, some stories, because they are true to life, may contain a some language, sex and/or violence when deemed necessary to the story or characters. Please don’t get us wrong. Dark Trails, or any imprint of Raven Publishing, past, present or future will not publish anything pornographic, racist, sexist, or demeaning and hurtful.
The first book published at Dark Trails was an e-book, Caught at the Edge, by Raymond Storm. It is a book with an important message; it is a Christian book; and it is also terribly violent. It is the story of a young man who grows up in abusive homes, is rescued by an uncle with ties to a drug cartel, and is trained to do the dirty, dangerous work for the mob. He also becomes a recruiter for other young boys, L. A. street gang members, to risk their lives for the cartel in exchange for guns, drugs, and women. This book alternates chapters between flashbacks to the young man I just described, and the grownup he becomes after an intervention converts him to Christianity. The author’s hope and intention in writing this book is to show the dark side—the true side—of the life of organized crime and street gang violence, and to lead young people to a better way.
More about Dark Trails next time.