Oh, Hello!

You have stumbled across the central repository for the creative works of one “J. Ahrens,” known online as The Dread Canary. Here you can find descriptions of my ongoing projects (with links for purchasing your own copies going live just as soon as they are available). Check out the links on the left, I promise it won’t take too long.

Some Basic Questions About Me that I Assume You Are Interested In Asking

How did you come up with your online handle?
The name “Dread Canary” came from two factors my sense of humor and a gaming community. In college, my friends had online usernames like “Nighthawk” or “Hammerstag” – names designed to sound cool and powerful. Now, I wanted to join, in but I also find a lot of humor in the absurd. So, when I was coming up with mine I wanted a descriptive word that leaned hard into the edgy-cool aesthetic (Dread) but paired with an animal that completely undercut the message (Canary).

Have you ever seen a canary? They are tiny songbirds and not the least bit intimidating.

Why do you need a website?
Marketing. I wrote a book explaining how I developed the mental habits that let me be a good friend despite lacking affective empathy and I wanted to sell it. Nowadays, every author is expected to have their own website regardless of whether they self-publish or go through a major publisher.

Then why “Media” instead of just “books?”
Because I make more than just books. So far I have designed a card game and done quite a few “Let’s Play” sessions on Twitch/YouTube.

Why “Ghost Finch” and not “Dread Canary?”
I wanted there to be a clear (if only paper thin) distinction between when I was representing myself and when I was representing my works. Canaries are in the finch family of birds and, having already established a theme, I needed a scary-sounding-but-not-actually-scary word to go with it.

Besides, at some point I might want to allow other absurdist birds onto the Ghost Finch platform.

I found someone using the name “Dread Canary” in a game/forum/website that you didn’t list under the Social section on the left. Is that also you?
It might be – I use that name everywhere I can – but I can’t guarantee it isn’t someone else who likes absurd usernames pretending to be me for a laugh.