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

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!

#1506

My story "All of a Heap" appears in the anthology Plague: Aftermath

My story “All of a Heap” appears in the anthology Plague: Aftermath

I am thrilled to report that my story “All of a Heap” is now available in the anthology Plague: Aftermath. All available formats (paperback and e-versions), as well as a preview of Aftermath, can be found through this link. In Canada, Plague: Aftermath is available through Amazon.ca.

Overview: Airborne Ebola has found a foothold in many large cities around the world, causing mass panic and mob mentality as people attempt to escape the circumstances they’re thrown into. Here are a few stories of bravery, viciousness, and survival from those trying to escape the next Plague.

Thank you to Jeremiah Donaldson at Ephiroll Productions for putting this project together and for the great collaboration. Plague: Original Cut by Jeremiah is free all week on Kindle in celebration of the Plague: Aftermath release.

I have already been approached to do a reading from “All of a Heap” at a writers’ event in Ottawa in September and will share more details when available.

 

Writing Week in Review (#1424)

June 13, 2014

-As per my post yesterday, All of a Heap will appear in Plague: Aftermath in September. The contract is signed and delivered, now I get to work on my author bio to accompany the story;

-Received a critique on Still Daughter from the Narwhals – it was generally received as an interesting concept, a different take on zombies even if that thought never crossed my mind until someone suggested it. This is a story I started two years ago but one that’s been quite a challenge to pull together as I can’t use the daughter/zombie as the viewpoint character. We had a good group discussion on possibilities and, as I don’t yet have a clear idea on how to thread it all together, I’m letting the idea seeds planted germinate for a bit to see which ones come out of the ground;

Fossil Lake is online for critique and I am sifting through the feedback that will continue to trickle in over the next week. I plan to quickly rework the story based on feedback from this new group to submit it to my regular online group for more substantial and specific feedback. Reviews from fresh readers can help pinpoint any final hiccup before final polishing and submission. I’m aiming high with this one and want to get it just right;

-As I enjoyed the first two chapters of a novel up for critique online, I took on reviewing the entire manuscript. It’s about 100 pages and classified as horror. I ended up spending most of my free time over the past week to draft the critique and have over 200 comments and notes, mainly about characterization and lack of tension. I’ve never taken on critiquing such a long manuscript before (never more than 10k) but I found the critiquing experience very similar to short stories, except of course for the length and that the same issues appeared over 100 pages instead of 10. It was an interesting experience and I learned more about writing in the process. I’m eager to shift my focus back to my own projects and hopefully be able to look at them in a more objective light to address any similar issues in my own work before I submit the stories elsewhere.

June 12, 2014

I’m thrilled to share the news that my short story All of a Heap will appear in the anthology Plague: Aftermath, slated for release on September 1, 2014.

I first heard of the anthology in the Fall of 2013. Four stories drafted with that anthology in mind all turned into other types of post-apocalyptic stories, making them all irrelevant to Plague: Aftermath. In the end, a mere four weeks elapsed between the moment I typed the first words of All of a Heap to the story’s acceptance. Write, rework, rewrite, edit, edit some more, submit, acceptance, yeah!

The entire “behind the scenes” process relating to this anthology has been a great experience. I never expected to be consulted (or have any input) on the selection of the cover artwork, release date, and whatever else comes next – I’m enjoying every minute of it!