Jason Jack Miller’s SOUND CHECK™ – The Awesome Hazard Yet Forward Benefit Anthology

Many thanks to Ian and Jose for donating space and time to the Hazard Yet Forward contributors, breast cancer awareness, and our friend Donna Munro. And thanks to the IMJ Nation™ for always supporting what we columnists spit out. Occasionally, like now, the words are extra important.

I’m never more reminded of that fact than in Almost a New Year, the story I donated to HYF. It hurt to write that one because it’s based on actual events I saw unfolding in real time.

Being the emotionally conscious person that Donna is, I knew she could appreciate the sentiment. This column today is also for you, Donna!

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?

“The Scraper” is one of my softer horror stories– about the tragedy of losing a loved one– and it seemed fitting to the charitable cause of the book. Plus I had a feeling that Donna Munro– the woman we’re trying to help out with this book– would get a real kick out of it.

What is your weapon of choice for a zombie apocalypse?

I’d probably use a shotgun, if I had enough shells. But it’s acquiring and setting up the brain decoys that would be the fun part.

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

When I first learned they were putting out the anthology and asked if I would like to contribute, Tangled Lines was the first story to come to mind to submit. I had written the short story some time ago and stepped back into it for some light revisions but was always satisfied with it and felt this was the right venue to put it out with. I’m proud to contribute to this project for a great cause and associate with so many other fantastic writers and stories.

What is your weapon of choice for a zombie apocalypse?

A healthy dose of sarcasm and snappy one liners and a double barrel shotgun with flame thrower/chainsaw modifications… Duh!

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

“The Harvest” came about because of an online flash fiction contest sponsored by The Dream People (led by the awesome duo of John Edward Lawson and Jennifer Barnes), and the story pretty much wrote itself in one morning – wish they were all that easy. I specifically chose this piece for HYF because it is a spooky tale of survival and renewal. Besides, I just knew deep down that Donna would enjoy it!

What is your weapon of choice for a zombie apocalypse?

Since I typically gaze into the face of evil head on (I am a Dark Lord after all), a long, sharpened machete does the trick every time.

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

Donna is a good friend.  She’s always been supportive of my writing.  I knew she’d want me to challenge myself by writing a short story that’s outside of my usual realm– romance fiction. So I wrote this story just for her, because I know she loves when people work at writing.

What is your weapon of choice for a zombie apocalypse?

I will have a scythe. Face it, guns WILL run out of ammo. Scythes are long-handled enough for me to avoid the unfortunate “Got bit while stabbing.”

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

I rarely write anything short so I had little to choose from for the anthology. I wrote the piece almost 15 years ago, a year or two into my long-delayed fantasy on becoming a writer. This was one of several memoirs of my childhood and adolescence– what I was focused on writing back then. I started out trying to be funny but it somehow turned out nostalgic, poignant and meaningful. Reviewing it for HYF, it affected me even more strongly more than when I first wrote it.

What is your weapon of choice for a zombie apocalypse?

I’d go for a semi-automatic rifle, preferably something with a flat trajectory (5.56mm would work) so I can take them out at 100 yards plus. That depends on a head shot of course, so a scope of some kind would be nice. A shotgun is classic for close-up work, but I’d rather not let them get that close in the first place and I hate running so I’ll just sit and plink them off. Then I always thought those little souvenir Louisville Slugger bats would be a handy sidearm for close-in head bashing.

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

I partly wrote the story to commemorate one of the greatest of baseball players: Ozzie Smith. I travelled to Cooperstown to see his induction into the Hall of Fame, and will always remember how effortlessly he moved around the field, covering twice as much territory as any other shortstop. But the initial impetus for the story was wondering what would happen if one of those Pick an All-Time Team debates became something much more than a bull-session game.

What is your weapon of choice for a zombie apocalypse?

Well, of course, I like the Ohio-class Trident-II SSBN submarine– for its ability to stay at sea, isolated, for over a year; and its ability to sanitize a continent, if needed. But if you mean a personal weapon, I’m inclined to go for a glaive or halberd. No moving parts, no need for ammunition, allows decapitation at a distance.

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

We chose “Threnody” for the Hazard Yet Forward project because we like this one very much. A threnody is a song of lamentation for the dead and– to us at least– the word pulls together the Irish traditions of keening, professional mourners and the melancholy many Irish cling to. “Threnody” also has more range than many short horror stories, and moves from a light, almost humorous, tone to a much darker place.

What is your weapon of choice for a zombie apocalypse?

Our weapon for the zombie apocalypse is more defensive than offensive: We’d bring a motorboat so we could get to that island over there.

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

“The Invisible Girl” was written back in 2004, and marked a turning point for me in that it was the first of my stories where I tried to avoid anything graphic: Sex, violence, or language. Since then I’ve tried to use this model as it disallows haters an easy out, and forces me to be as creative as possible in scaring readers– inducing nausea or laughs, and so forth. This story in particular has appealed to a much broader readership than I originally intended, so it only made sense for inclusion in a charity anthology reaching out to as diverse a crowd as possible.

What is your weapon of choice for a zombie apocalypse?

Falkor with late-stage rabies and pivoting, crossbow-equipped rider cage.

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

I chose Ajar because it’s about someone moving ahead past crippling fear in the face of danger, against all odds, and into a potentially scary situation.

What is your weapon of choice for a zombie apocalypse?

Long answer: I have more than one weapon I plan on strapping to myself in the event of a zombie apocalypse. Can you say lethal zombie killing machine? Short(ish) answer: Battle Axe. Because I’m a Viking Princess, gosh darn it.

Why did you choose this story your anthology?

This story came to me after I read an Islamic proverb that said Satan, having been removed from God’s love, was the saddest creature in the universe. I thought, “What the heck? I want to explore sympathy for the devil.” One of the characters is named after my dad, who I lost two years ago this Christmas to lung and brain cancer. He loved the story, so I am honored to gift it to others who need to “Hazard Yet Forward.”

What is your weapon of choice for a zombie apocalypse?

Repeating crossbow with Greek fire missile attachments.

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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10 Responses to Jason Jack Miller’s SOUND CHECK™ – The Awesome 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. Damn, this looks sharp. You guys are not only awesome but you’re good at doing what you do! Man. Very happy to be a part of all this. Also, it looks like I’m on the winning tean during the zombie apocalypse!

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

  4. irenelpynn says:

    Arnzen’s setting up brain decoys? *hides*

  5. Surprised nobody said, “Ian” as their weapon of choice for the zombie apocalypse. Everything he does is awesome! Thanks for this great post. Everything looks great.

    • Insideman says:

      I’d be good for a day… Maybe a week (if I had full body armor)… Because I wouldn’t let one damn zombie get anybody. (I’ve been known to wage into angry mobs of 20 or more.) I blame both my father and his ambition to have me win a Golden Glove Championship.

  6. dmunrohchs says:

    Thanks so much everyone! You are all amazing.

    Donna

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