Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing: AHEA interview

Wolves in Sheep's Clothing

I finally have a copy of After the Happily Ever After (AHEA) in my hands and it looks fantastic! (I am told the so very “perrrty” and shiny castle is the least threatening of all my covers to date.)

Since AHEA is a collection of over 80 fractured fairy tales clocking in at more than 500 pages, it might take me a while to get through it all, but this is exactly the kind of anthology I like to read. A fellow writer was telling me the other day how envious he is of writers like me who get inspired to write at least one story after reading any anthology. I can’t help it – reading a series of short stories on the same theme always gets my juices flowing and makes me want to write something that could fit in the book, even though it’s too late to include it in. This time, I already have a story part of the collection so it will be interesting to see if I can come up with another, but I’m sure it won’t be for lack of inspiration.

In anticipation of AHEA’s release, Claudia Quint, a fellow contributor to the anthology, interviewed me about writerly things, including my story Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing. Here is an excerpt:

 You chose to reinvent the Three Little Pigs. Good choice! Is there something special about this one? Why this one over the others?

I didn’t have the tale in book form as a child – it was a record that we played on a six-foot, wooden monstrosity of a record player. And we played that thing endlessly on all speeds (45, 33 and 78, because that’s how old that player was), so if there is one fairy tale I could work with, it’s this one. For my own version, I flipped it around to make the pigs the antagonists to the Wolf’s protagonist. It was also great fun to work in other famous fairy tale characters like Red Riding Hood (caught in a love triangle with B.B. Wolf and the pot-smoking pig), as well as Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck (as crooked cops).

Read the full interview here: After Happily Ever After: Jenner Michaud Talks “Wolves In Sheep’s Clothing” and (Creatively) Blows Down Our House

After the Happily Ever After is available from Amazon, in both paperback and Kindle versions:

Amazon US

Amazon Canada

Amazon UK

Happy reading – and please consider leaving a review of AHEA if you get the chance to read it. Cheers!

After the Happily Ever After

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Killing it Softly

Killing It Softly: A Digital Horror Fiction Anthology of Short Stories (The Best by Women in Horror (Volume 1))

Killing it Softly – The Best by Women in Horror – Suzie Lockhart and Digital Horror Fiction are thrilled to present 32 chilling tales of terror from some of the best authors in horror. Killing It Softly includes stories from New York Times best selling authors Nancy Holder and Elaine Cunningham, together with more shocking short nightmares from the finest award winning female writers in the genre. Your heart won’t stop pounding as you dig into the pages of this book; from the moment you immerse yourself in the first tale, about a women waking to find herself inside a coffin, buried alive, until the last, a coming of age story about a sixteen-year-old’s journey of self-discovery amidst all hell breaking loose. You’ll find your proof that women can, indeed, do a wicked dance between science fiction and horror as they penetrate your darkest thoughts, to bring forth stories promising to leave you with a lingering anxiety you can’t seem to shake. Any romantic notions of vampires will be crushed, and dark and twisted plots will confirm definitively that females can even write about zombies. We dare you to read stories that will leave you deeply disturbed, and some that will slice into your very soul. It wouldn’t be horror if there wasn’t an ode to Edgar Allen Poe…we have two masterfully written tales. There are stories off the odd and unusual, stories that take a perilous dive into worlds of disturbing shadows, and there’s even an exorcism—in a tale that daringly addresses the heartbreaking disease that is alcoholism. Enter at your own risk…

My story All of a Heap is featured. “All of a Heap” is the story of Gus, a man trying to save his young daughter Allie from the heartbreak of losing her mother to a deadly plague. His attempt to bypass roadblocks to get her help leads them into a suburban neighborhood where stragglers have set their own survival rules. What price will Gus have to pay for his daughter’s safety?

Killing it Softly’s special Kindle edition price of 99 cents (US) / $1.30 (Canada) applies until October 31.

Happy Halloween reading!

 

Cover Reveal – After the Happily Ever After

The happily ever after is never the end. The curtain doesn’t fall once love is recognized or evil is vanquished.  Credits don’t roll once the giant is slain or the big bad wolf is boiled alive.  Wicked stepsisters, malevolent rulers, and hideous creatures still have lives after their sinister roles play out; heroes, lovers, and dreamers often find their victories lead to more troubles.

Within these pages are more than seventy continuations, retellings, and eldritch stories that explore the dark forests, magical castles, and hideous creatures After the Happily Ever After.

 

Here is the awesome cover for the upcoming After the Happily Ever After (AHEA) anthology by Transmundane Press, to be released December 15. This massive anthology transforms well-known fables into darker, more fantastical tales. I’m quite pleased that my story “Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing” has been selected to be part of this anthology. The Wolf and three little (bullying) pigs feature in my fable transformation merging Disney and Grimm worlds. While it’s a fantasy story, the horror writer in me couldn’t help but include a Grimm ending. Here is a teaser:

A thin spray squirted out of the speaker, covering Wolf in a malodorous mist.

“Arrgh, pigsty stink.” He moved out of sight of the camera and spat.

“I gave you fair warning. Leave before we take it up a notch.”

“Little pig, little pig, please let me in.”

“Not by the hair of my chinny chin chin.” Laugher burst out of the speakers, Fifer and Fiddler’s laughter joining their brother’s.

Three for one. Wolf licked his snout. He grimaced and spat, the taste of pigsty flaring anew in his mouth.

“That’s enough. Release Mr. D., or I will tear your house down.”

“I’d like to see you try,” Fifer said. “You should enlist reinforcements stronger and scarier than you.”

“Yeah, like a poodle,” one of the brothers said.

Wolf nuzzled the camera. “I am going to tear this house down even if I have to huff and puff.”

“Hard to do with emphysema, Old Man,” Practical said.

“Tra la la la la la,” the brothers chanted.

“We’ll see what you have to say when I pig out on bacon tonight.”

 

Check out Kickstarter for some cool rewards relating to this project.

 

On the Near Horizon – Upcoming Anthologies

I have a number of projects coming to fruition, and I am pleased to finally be able to share some more detail about what is coming up.

Paying the Ferryman Front Cover

Anthology: Paying the Ferryman

Story: Maze Walker

Available: October 20, 2015

A virtual book launch party will take place on Facebook the evening of October 20 to celebrate the launch of “Paying the Ferryman”, and offer a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the anthology. It will be my first such experience and I’m looking forward to the event to mingle with the contributing authors and supporters. It will be a great event and you’re invited to join the fun.

Paying the Ferryman is a collection of stories that start after the main character has died. My contribution is “Maze Walker”, where a man is condemned to walk ad vitam aeternam, all the while being tortured by unseen Ferrymen. Hold on to your hat – and any organs you consider important – as you enjoy a new kind of Ferryman’s maze of torment. Death is just the beginning. Are you ready to pay?

Holes and Craters

Anthology: The Corpse Candle and other Nightmares Horror Anthology

Story: Of Holes and Craters

Available: Halloween 2015

“Of Holes and Craters” is the story of Grace, a teenager forced to live among a prison full of Teddys, InfecTED victims of a devastating plague. B12, as she is known in the reformatorium, might be short on fingers, but there is no limit to her imagination. Cleverness. Ingenuity. Will she ever find a way to break out without collecting an extra hole in the head? Find out on Halloween 2015.

ruinationcoversmall

Anthology: Plague: Ruination

Stories: The Wolf Strain & Ark of the Lonesome

Available: Winter 2015-16

Plague: Ruination is a part of the Plague series created by editor and author Jeremiah Donaldson (ephiroll.com). My story “All of a Heap” appeared in the second book, Plague: Aftermath. Through social media, I had the opportunity to connect with another contributor, Lyndsey Shir-McDermott-Pour . When the call for Ruination came out, Lynds and I decided to draw from Jeremiah’s original novel, and collaborate on a story to show what would happen in the next few days of his Plague, focusing on what could be Patient Zero’s storyline. Lynds took on the first stage for what I like to refer to as Family Zero, writing the story of what happens while they are still in Africa, and my story “The Wolf Strain” picks up when they land in Paris, bringing that storyline to the end of a very captivating story arc.

I also have a second story in the anthology, a stand-along piece called “Ark of the Lonesome”, which follows other characters affected by the same Plague. As family is a big part of our collaborative project detailed above, I thought it would be interesting to explore characters at the other end of the spectrum, individuals with no one else in the world. They too are ruined, but their journey through the Plague might lead them to a better life.

I’m looking forward to those stories being available and will provide links when the anthologies become available. In the meantime, check out “Plague: Aftermath”, now available on Amazon: Canada US, and “Paying the Ferryman”, now available (before official release!) in the US in paperback.

Happy reading!

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Walking the Maze

thCA0O41S9Great news first: My short story “Maze Walker” will appear in an upcoming anthology, due out in March 2015. I have done two interviews in the past few weeks, one in anticipation of the anthology, and one in conjunction with February’s celebration of Women in Horror. I hope to be able to share more in the coming weeks.

Other than for the above, writing projects were paused last Fall when I began battling a nasty sinus bug but I am happy to report treatments have recently kicked in and I am feeling much better. In January, I had a Popeye-style burst of energy, leading me to write an entire short story from scratch in five hours, averaging a thousand words per hour (my usual speed when I’m in “the zone”).

The energy burst didn’t last, but after a few months of little scribbling, it felt good to finally write something that seems solid. I have since spent some time editing it and submitted it for critique to my local writing group, The Scrawling Narwhals. I’ve already made a few notes of what I think need to be addressed in the re-write but we shall see what the feedback is like next week on “Boomerang”. Maybe I just imagined the story being good, which wouldn’t be much of a surprise after the past few months of brain freeze.

One of my standing writing objectives is to make at least two submissions each month. Despite the bug, I still managed to do that up to the end of December but I haven’t yet submitted anything in 2015. I have just heard back about the lone outstanding sub (rejection) so I am making a push to be able to meet my two sub minimum this month, and hopefully at least one more to make up for the January zilch count.

First up is “Arctic Marauder” (formerly “Frozen in Time”), the story of an Arctic Expedition finding a lost WWII soldier who has survived alone some seventy years at the bottom of an icy crevasse. A hint: the plane’s mysterious cargo may have something to do with his survival. Next, I will work on “The Beaten Path” (Alien chiropractors, who knew?), and “Threader”, a complicated Earth where nothing happens by chance, where lives are controlled by a chosen few forced to live in the Earth’s mantle to hide the reality of how the world really works. Those are the three stories that have been occupying my mind in my recent delirium so I just had to move them up to the top of the pile. I have feedback on all three stories and it’s a matter of using what can help make them great ones. I hope that doesn’t sound easy because it’s not.

Lots of work ahead – happy writing!

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