Irene L. Pynn’s The Princess and Her PS3™ – The Fantastic Hazard Yet Forward Benefit Anthology

A special thank you to Ian and Jose for allowing Jason Jack Miller, Heidi Ruby Miller 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 God Corp., a short I wrote back when I first attended school with Donna. It tells the tale of Lucy, a teenage girl who wins a trip through time to interview her personal hero: William Shakespeare.

This installment of Irene L. Pynn’s The Princess and Her PS3™ 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 wrote the story while passing through the vineyards around the Keuka Lake region, where the story is set. I’m not a wine drinker so I believe my brain concocted the story to alleviate my boredom. And it’s a little dark and twisted, so I thought Donna would appreciate it.

What is your weapon of choice for a zombie apocalypse?

The most dangerous thing on planet earth. The weaponized animal brain we call the human mind.

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

The story is in large part about overcoming darkness in our lives and seemed to fit well with the Anthology’s purpose. I wrote the story specifically as an exercise in Lovecraft fiction, which is a somewhat popular subgenre of horror today. Having written it as a pop culture piece reflects my experience in Seton Hill University’s Master’s Program in Writing Popular Fiction, which is a common bond between the contributors and Donna.

What is your weapon of choice for a zombie apocalypse?

Most people would probably list their favorite gun or blade, but I’m a bit clumsy and would probably do more damage than good with either of those. If I can only pick one, I want it to be both offensive and defensive, work well in close combat as well as from a distance, have a variety of attack methods, and help me acquire other resources as needed. I can think of only one thing that would do all that. Chuck Norris.

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

This story is inspired by a very random writing prompt thought up by my writer’s group: Each story had to contain a man, a gun and a chair. I got thinking about how parents impact their kids without meaning to, and thinking about men, guns and chairs, and this story tumbled forth. It’s one of my favorites and I’m honored to place it in such an amazing anthology!

What is your weapon of choice for a zombie apocalypse?

After reading World War Z my weapon of choice is totally the “lobo”: Double bladed axe+shovel. Super handy. Or a sword like a katana… I’d just have to learn to use it first!

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

I wrote a rough draft of “Two Minute Tits” about a year ago, because I wanted to see more commentary in fiction about the perils of online dating in modern life. It’s an absurdist story about a couple of pathetic creatures, but below the dark humor, slithers the truth of sex between strangers as escape. I tweaked the story to fit the theme of the anthology, which I believe works well in raising awareness about breast cancer.

What is your weapon of choice for a zombie apocalypse?

My weapon of choice for a zombie apocalypse is my pen. If they get too close, I’ll simply revise the story to send them away.

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

I have a passion for the occult, and I’d just visited New Orleans. I couldn’t have found a more inspiring city in the US, so the story was a combination of those things. I chose to submit a story to this because, like Donna, my wife is also going through cancer treatments. Hers is stage 4 cervical cancer, so I know what this disease can do. Anything I could do to help, I’m glad to.

What is your weapon of choice for a zombie apocalypse?

An actual katana (like a real one, not one of those cheep costume swords, one made by a master sword maker like Paul Chen).

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

I wrote SEAFIRE as a jumpstart to a YA novel – which I’ll work on next year. I wanted to try my hand at a medieval-like fantasy setting since someone told me my narrative descriptive style is perfect for it.

What is your weapon of choice for a zombie apocalypse?

Jonathan Maberry’s Joe Ledger character, plus weapons with never-ending ammo.

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

I wrote this story as part of the background work for a thriller idea I’m kicking around about the “angel of death” and the 2013 Mayan end of the world.
Which fits perfectly into the question about the Zombie apocalypse.

What is your weapon of choice for a zombie apocalypse?

A bull whip.

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

My story is in a genre I call “chick lit noir.” I wrote the short story for the HYF anthology, and I chose this character because she whispers to me late at night. I love the idea of a rough-and-tumble, Kinsey Millhone-type, self-employed, strip mall-located PI with menopausal muffin-top and complete lack of self-consciousness. My character, Holly O’Litely, embodies all of these qualities and with a humility to recognize when she’s wrong. Love, love, love her.

What is your weapon of choice for a zombie apocalypse?

Weapon of choice would probably be superglue or a Cuisinart blade. Superglue because I’ve stuck myself to, uh, myself often enough to know it really works–and fast, which is what you’d need in a zombie apocalypse– speed. A Cuisinart blade because it’s beyond sharp, has a number of cool blades, including serrated, and is perfectly fling-able due to its circular shape.

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

I wrote this for the ill-fated Dead Bells anthology before my transplant. The anthology fell through about a year and a half later and I have searched for a home for it since. I don’t want to give too much away from the story, but the inspiration came from my nephew, Jack, when he was a quite little and I saw what he learned, what he didn’t, and what he discovered on his own. I reflected on my childhood and how I learned, didn’t learn or discovered on my own some of those things. With a child protagonist all alone, I wondered how much she could survive. Definitely a stark interpretation of the theme “hazard, yet forward.”

In a way, I saw a synergy between the theme of the story and the impetus of the anthology. Charity is a hard thing to come by these days. We have to teach charity to others because it is not a natural tendency. People, especially the normal healthy people, don’t know the stress of dealing with a major health issues. Hopefully, the existence of this anthology will not only help a good friend, and good writer, Donna Munro, but also help educate more on these two subjects.

What is your weapon of choice for a zombie apocalypse?

If there was a zombie apocalypse, there’s no way I could survive without my medicine, so I would probably kill myself in the most pain-free way I could instead of trying to survive and go through liver rejection.

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

It is my favorite short story that I’ve written. I like to juxtapose the positive vs. negative, and the story does that pretty well, I think. Plus it’s bleak. I love bleak.

What is your weapon of choice for a zombie apocalypse?

A high quality brick of cocaine.

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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8 Responses to Irene L. Pynn’s The Princess and Her PS3™ – The Fantastic Hazard Yet Forward Benefit Anthology

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

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

  3. Wow, some of the weapons for the zombie apocalypse here were quite clever–Chuck Norris! Brilliant, David!
    :) Heidi

    • David Day says:

      Thanks, Heidi! It was either him or a cadre of drunken ninjas, and since I’m not really willing to share my Jaegermeister (particularly during a zombie apocalypse), Mr. Norris won. I have to admit, I’m intrigued by Nancy Parra’s answer — a bullwhip could work well if you knew what you were doing.

  4. irenelpynn says:

    My own weapon of choice for the zombie apocalypse: my brother. He has promised to save me, since it’s clear I can’t possibly defend myself from the undead. :)

  5. Donna Munro says:

    I am so thankful for all of you. Thanks for the giggles and the love all!

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