Heidi Ruby Miller’s GEEK GIRL UNDERGROUND™ – The Fantastic Hazard Yet Forward Benefit Anthology!

A special thank you to Ian and Jose for allowing Jason Jack Miller, Irene L. Pynn and myself to donate our columns this week to an incredible cause— Breast Cancer Awareness.

If you remember Ian’s warning letter about health issues after what happened with his mother earlier this year, you know he understands how dealing with a crisis of health can affect not only the patient, but also those friends and family members supporting their loved one.

I contributed Feeling Blue Today which is from my current speculative thriller ATOMIC ZION. I decided not to use this piece in the novel, but it worked well as a short story.

This installment of Heidi Ruby Miller’s Geek Girl Underground™ is dedicated to writer, friend, and sister Seton Hill alum, Donna Munro.

Editors Matt Duvall, Natalie Duvall and Deanna Lepsch collected works from seventy-six writers connected to the Seton Hill University Writing Popular Fiction program to create a multi-genre charity anthology entitled Hazard Yet Forward.

All proceeds from this project will benefit Donna Munro, a 2004 graduate of the program. Munro, a teacher living in St. Louis, Missouri, was recently diagnosed with breast cancer.

Why did you choose this story for Donna’s anthology?

I chose “Center Mass” as a donation for the anthology because I’d had it workshopped by a few mentors/professors and crit partners– and it’s a story about a woman’s struggle in the time of war. The anthology is dedicated toward helping a member of our writing profession with her struggle. I thought this story was perfect. Besides, some of my other stories are really gruesome and dark. I didn’t want to go there in this anthology.

What is your weapon of choice for a zombie apocalypse?

Lava. Soon as I discover there’s a zombie apocalypse, I’m headed for the Big Island and camping out near Kīlauea. We’ll have a team that draws any zombies into the lava and poof! Full disintegration of the undead! No fuss, no muss and no cleanup! After a while, the island will be cleansed of zombies and we can kick back, surf, make rum, eat pineapple and chill.

Why did you choose this story for Donna’s anthology?

“The Double” is about a person confronting her own doppelgänger. I chose this story for Hazard Yet Forward for several reasons. One is that I’ve always had a fascination with evil twins. Another is that in this story I use the kind of noir style I really like and want to employ more in my novels. But mostly, confronting your alter-ego, as Jou-Jou does in this story, represents a kind of healing, and that’s what this anthology is all about.

What is your weapon of choice for a zombie apocalypse?

My MacBook– If Jeff Goldblum could defeat invading aliens with one, it should be good for zombies. Plus, I’d be able to work on my writing while I was waiting around.

Why did you choose this story for Donna’s anthology?

I’d been dying to try flash fiction… And I wanted to write a story involving a black lab and a beach. I dreamt this story, so I wrote it. It’s a sensual piece, but not gratuitous.

What is your weapon of choice for a zombie apocalypse?

Zumba music. I hear zombies like to dance (if Michael Jackson’s Thriller is any indication), and I’m a great Zumba instructor. :)

Why did you choose this story for Donna’s anthology?

My story in HYF is called “Happy Holidays.” It’s a reprint from Dark Krypt, an online horror ‘zine, in 2004. Between 2002 and 2006 I wrote a lot of “office horror,” basically taking the day-to-day drudgery of a 9-to-5 job and adding in something completely off the wall. I chose this story because it is one of my favorites and I wrote it while I was a student at SHU with Donna.

What is your weapon of choice for a zombie apocalypse?

My weapon of choice for the zombie apocalypse is… A Bo Staff. I like a challenge.

Why did you choose this story for Donna’s anthology? 

I feel like this story was perfect for this particular anthology (and for Donna) for a couple of reasons.  Firstly, it’s funny, sexy, and sassy (like Donna!).  Secondly, I wanted to inspire my readers’ inner “fighters.” Although not doing battle with a serious illness, Leslie finds herself in a very real “fight” for success in the story. She needs to win the sales competition because she needs a new car very badly. It’s basic survival for her. Rick, on the other hand, is in it for simple pride (his reputation). And you know what they say about pride before a fall….

What is your weapon of choice for a zombie apocalypse?

I recommend only one weapon: A Chambord margarita (frozen, of course). They taste good. They feel good going down. And after enough of them, you won’t care there’s a zombie apocalypse! (Besides, if Ving Rhames couldn’t take them down, what chance does any of us honestly have???)

Why did you choose this story for Donna’s anthology?

I chose this story because I think having a tough kick-ass heroine and hero represents the fighting spirit Donna has. She is fighting hard and she will win, I have no doubt of that. Also, there’s a symbolism of guardian angels in the book, which I thought was appropriate for the anthology.

What is your weapon of choice for a zombie apocalypse?

Peanut butter. It has the same consistency as brain tissue. It will distract the zombies while I get away. And if the zombie apocalypse doesn’t come, after all, you can’t go wrong with a stockpile of peanut butter in your basement. :-)

Why did you choose this story for Donna’s anthology?

I had been on a Twilight Zone kick for a while (Gary Braunbeck had compared me to Rod Serling) and so I wanted to try my hand at a good Twilight Zone-esque story, one that, as you’re reading it, feels something is just not quite right but you don’t know what… And then Wham! You have that epiphany. As for the plot itself, well, it grew out of the opening scene, which literally happened to me. On a snowy morning drive back to Boston after spending the holidays with my family, a car just like mine (MASS plates and all) came out of nowhere, zoomed past me, and sped away. My first thought was “I just passed myself.” Well the snow was falling really hard at that point, and so I wasn’t about to speed after the guy, but it did give me about nine hours to ponder the whole trip as I trundled home in the storm. From that “The Turnpike” was born.

What is your weapon of choice for a zombie apocalypse?

Christopher Walken? Seriously though, I think my brain would be my weapon of choice. It’s no small wonder that’s what zombies go after– they know logic, reasoning, planning, and the human spirit will be what will defeat them. Oh, and a big, fuckin’ baseball bat. They’re versatile, (jab, swing, club), lightweight, durable, won’t get jammed or break like a blade, don’t require ammo, but can be used to launch projectiles. Most importantly, it allows me to ceaselessly and mercilessly use of this cheese ball on the other survivors: “If I have to go down, I’ll go down swinging.”

Why did you choose this story for Donna’s anthology?

The reason I chose it is that it’s all about love, loyalty, sisterhood, courage, & magical realism–five of my favorite concepts that seemed particularly relevant to Donna’s challenge.

What is your weapon of choice for a zombie apocalypse?

A latte & cyanide. I’d like to have the opportunity to sip a final latte– and remember how sweet life can be– before taking myself out of the equation!

Why did you choose this story for Donna’s anthology?

“Finister’s Tree” has been an orphaned story for most of its existence. It’s not really long enough to market easily on its own. When HYF came along, I thought it would be a good fit and would provide people with a short, accessible introduction to my work.

What is your weapon of choice for a zombie apocalypse?

Tough call. If I’m in a city, I want an AK74. In the country, I’ll stick with the trusty SMLE rifle in .303 British. If it’s a toss-up, I’ll probably take the SMLE for the range and power, even though it isn’t as maneuverable as the AK.

Why did you choose this story for Donna’s anthology?

I had attended a reading at Context where an author read from a collection of science fiction short stories about mothers. The author (I can’t remember her name) had said there weren’t many SF stories written from a mother’s POV. I had written a story for a critique group, and decided to change the POV from the daughter to the mother. And being a mother, I wanted to portray a sacrifice both mother and daughter would have to make.

What is your weapon of choice for a zombie apocalypse?

Flamethrower.

Genres represented in the book range from horror to romance to mystery – and everything in between. Some of the notable writers in the anthology are World Fantasy Award winner Nalo Hopkinson, Bram Stoker winners Michael A. Arnzen and Michael Knost, Bram Stoker nominees Lawrence C. Connolly and John Edward Lawson, ALA/YALSA Best Book for Young Adults winner Jessica Warman, Rita finalist Dana Marton, Spur award winner Meg Mims, Asimov’s Reader’s Award winner Timons Esaias, Rhysling Award nominee K. Ceres Wright, Rooney Award winner Jason Jack Miller, and WV Arts and Humanities literary fellowships winner Geoffrey Cameron Fuller.
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7 Responses to Heidi Ruby Miller’s GEEK GIRL UNDERGROUND™ – The Fantastic Hazard Yet Forward Benefit Anthology!

  1. Thanks to IMJ much for hosting this, and thanks to Heidi for posting! It was an honor and a joy to be a part of Hazard Yet Forward. Please remember that sale proceeds go to a worthy cause: Donna Munro, a Seton Hill University alum who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. Thank you again!

  2. Pingback: Halloween HAZARD YET FORWARD interview at Irene L. Pynn’s The Princess and Her PS3™ | Phylactery of Nightmares & Dreams

  3. Pingback: Cancer sucks, and fiction’s fun! | Irene L. Pynn's Blog

  4. Ian and Jose, I can’t tell you how much we all appreciate the time and effort you put into these posts. You are both such generous souls, and it is always a pleasure to work with you.

    Thank you and big hugs!!
    :) Heidi

  5. dmunrohchs says:

    I’m always so touched by the love you all show me! These are super fun.
    Thanks so much,
    Donna

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