I’m very happy and excited to introduce you to a friend of mine and fellow horror writer, Anne Michaud! Anne is a writer of short stories and novellas with a very dark, creepy and atmospheric vibe. If the titles of some of her previous works–“Blood on the Beach,” “Animal Kingdoom,” “The Misery of Me”–don’t communicate quite the sort of gleefully dark vibe she’s into, then perhaps you need to check out her upcoming book, Girls & Monsters, from DarkFuse Press, scheduled for release on April 30. That’s quite appropriate, as April 30 is Walpurgisnacht, a very heathen holiday well-known to those of you who read Lovecraftian type stuff or listen to black metal.
Anne and I are going to be interviewing each other over the next few weeks, alternating between her blog and mine. But before we get started on that, here’s a profile of this terrific horror writer.
She who likes dark things never grew up. She never stopped listening to gothic, industrial and alternative bands like when she was fifteen. She always loved to read horror and dystopia and fantasy, where doom and gloom drip from the pages.
She, who was supposed to make films, decided to write short stories, novelettes and novels instead. She, who’s had her films listed on festival programs, has been printed in a dozen anthologies and magazines since.
She who likes dark things prefers night to day, rain to sun, and reading to anything else.
Anne’s upcoming book Girls & Monsters is a collection of five dark but uplifting young adult novellas organized around the theme of confronting one’s childhood fears. Included in this volume will be “Death Song,” the story of two young lovers and a hideous monster from the depths of a lake; “Black Dog,” where a woman struggles for sanity against the voice in her head; “A Blue Story,” which begins with a missing dog and a mysterious neighbor; “Dust Bunnies,” about fears of spiders and the test of sisterhood; and “We Left At Night,” which will definitely appeal to readers of this blog, since it involves zombies.
Anne is in fact doing a book giveaway where you have a chance to win a free copy of Girls & Monsters. You can read about it here on Goodreads. (Be sure to add her as a friend, and you can add me too!)
Here is an excerpt from “Death Song,” one of the novellas in Girls & Monsters.
Something catches in the back of my throat. I hide my face in my hands to quiet the sobs. But then, something ain’t right. Air moves around me and I stop. I look between my fingers, but the blur of my tears thickens everything: the bathtub, the towels, and someone on the floor.
A woman’s in here with me, door still closed and locked. An exhale, like after a deep swim, and a smell, like the swamp close to my empty home. A chill runs down my back, I wipe my eyes, rub and scratch them to see more clearly. And I do.
Two gray hands scratch the floor tiles, nails green with algae, putrid flesh sagging on her legs, arms and torso, hair so long and wet and heavy, it drags her down. Diluted, impossible to focus on, like little waves rippling over her body from head to foot, seaweed in the water. Scales and fins, mermaidlike, little knives, those are. And they scrape the floor, like a fork on a plate. It’s her—Limnade.
She opens her mouth of scissor-teeth and the rotten smell of fish wraps around my throat like two hands trying to choke me.
“You can’t be…” I don’t finish my breathless thought and jump backward, knocking over the dish of decorative soaps. Blurry waves, vision impaired, out of focus, unreal. She crawls toward me, eyes unblinking, lethal, hands inches from me: my legs refuse to move, as my body feels like stone. Frozen, hypnotized, a statue. Then I hear something coming from within her…
A melody, reminding me of something lost, tickles my ears. It drags on until the sweetness turns sickly, vibrating into a full-on super-scream, hyenalike, enough to pop my ears and make them bleed. Her large mouth deforms her face into one gap of black, the cry so high and strident, I scream from the pain.
Limnade stares at me, everything but her fades away—Jo’s nice bathroom, Jo’s new life, Jo himself—none of it matters anymore. Her fingers brush my forehead, they’re cold and sticky like clams. And I let the darkness take me away.
If you like Anne’s chilling, almost neo-Gothic writing style, you should definitely count on picking up Girls & Monsters when it releases April 30…or if you can’t wait, sign up for the giveaway!
Stay tuned for more dialogue with Anne on both her blog and mine.
Anne’s Twitter: http://twitter.com/annecmichaud