Ginger Nuts of Horror
Keith Minnion : On The Hooks
Keith Minnion is something of a renaissance man. He is probably best known as an illustrator and as such he is one of the busiest in the horror fiction world. Since 1979, Keith has remained in constant demand and is extremely popular with the fans and collectors.
Keith Minnion has also been a publisher. His White Noise Press produced some of the most lavish and beautiful chapbooks that the genre has ever seen. Publishing such critically acclaimed authors as Brian Keene, Kealan Patrick Burke, Elizabeth Massie and Gary Braunbeck, White Noise kept the prices affordable for all, when many of its competitors were charging much more for inferiorly made chapbooks.
And Keith Minnion has been quietly publishing thoughtful, beautifully-written short stories since 1979 as well. His fiction has graced Asimov's SF Magazine, Cemetery Dance and other quality markets.
We asked Keith Minnion, the author of On The Hooks, in Eulogies II for a bit of back story on his tale and this is how he responded:
On The Hooks
Influences: “Karl”, a portrait painting by Andrew Wyeth; and “The Hunger Games” trilogy, which I was reading while I wrote it.
I saw a photograph posted on HorrorWorld’s messageboard one evening. The photo was of an old, abandoned ferris wheel half-covered in kudzu. The poster – Hellolost – suggested a contest to write a story about the ferris. Nanci Kalanta agreed: the winner would get their story published on (in?) HorrorWorld. Cool. So I wrote “On The Hooks.”
When I was done, however, I realized the story wasn’t really about the old ferris wheel; that had become a minor player, just interesting scenery, really. The story had instead become about the father/daughter relationship between Mal and little Dorothy. It had also morphed from a dirty dark horror piece into “if this goes on” SF. I hadn’t written SF in years, so that was another pleasant surprise (you mean you don’t outline? You don’t know how your stories end when you start? Umm, sometimes … nope!). Most important, though, the story was about those meat hooks, and what they represented to the citizens of the Nest; they were a neat and appropriate little metaphor for life and death, I thought. We all end up on the hooks eventually, right? Some of us are already hanging on ours, being nibbled away at, very slowly…
Anyway, I ended up pulling the story from the contest, and submitting it to “Eulogies-II” instead. And three crazy people decided to buy it.
We asked Rose Blackthorn, the author of, The Lilac Hedge, in Eulogies II for a bit of back story on her tale and this is how she responded:
I have been writing almost all of my life. I’ve had approximately 40 short stories published to date, as well as several poems. I’ve always been drawn to dark fiction – horror, dark fantasy, even fairy tales (the originals, not the Disney-fied versions). Those are the kinds of stories that I love to write, where beauty and love and happiness are side by side with the darkness we try to hide – or ignore.
The Lilac Hedge, the final story in Eulogies II is one of my favorite stories, because I was able to really delve into both, the light and the darkness. There is something bittersweet about the loss of innocence, growing up and letting go of childish illusions. Or finding out that the illusions were real.
The Lilac Hedge is partly based on my childhood. I grew up at my grandparents’ place, and they lived in an area that was mostly rural, with acres of fields surrounding the yard, and an annual vegetable garden. It is said that smell is one of the strongest triggers for memories and all these years later, I can still remember the smell of the lilacs on a warm spring evening, woven through with the scent of roses and fresh cut grass. My childhood was as prosaic and real world as anyone’s, but there is magic in memories. That’s what I wanted to try to capture in this story. There is beauty to be found in the everyday, but sometimes something darker lurks alongside of it.
The Lilac Hedge is the story of Yarrow. She is an innocent who deals with some of life’s painful realities – the recurring loss of her mother who abandons her over and over, and learning that she cannot always depend on those she loves. She meets someone, who is not part of the everyday world, a being completely outside her experience or expectations of life. Are his intentions good or evil? Are his motives pure or selfish? What sacrifices will Yarrow have to make to find the answers to these questions? Yarrow alone must make the choices that will define her life, for good or bad.
There are times when the heart wants what the heart wants, and there is no way to deny it. This story is about the choices she makes, and the affect they have on her life. Sometimes, love wins out in the end, but at what cost
Stay Tuned for posts from Gary McMahon and T. T. Zuma
Please consider purchasing this book via the links below as it helps to pay for the hosting of this site. Thank You
Eulogies II on Amazon