Were Tales: A Shapeshifter Anthology, featuring my story, ‘Refuge,’ was released yesterday through Brigids Gate Press. I was invited to contribute a story to the anthology by editor S. D. Vassallo, with the instructions to try and use a shapeshifter that wasn’t the archetypal werewolf.
I put my thinking cap on and started scouring the web and various folklore sources for shapeshifters from cultures around the world. After some narrowing down and plotting out of some potential scenarios, I was torn between the Kitsune of Japan – a magical were fox – and the Berserker of northern and eastern Europe.
Just as my indecisiveness was beginning to get me down, the central character of my eventual story, Johan, came to me in crystal clarity and I was set on the Berserker from there on in. Johan is an older protagonist. One who’s seen and done pretty much everything in his life and has the scars to show for it. But also someone who has rejected the violence of the past. Now he has something beyond himself to protect. I hope people will get as much out of reading the story as I did in writing it.
What I didn’t know when I sat down to write ‘Refuge’ was quite how talented the other writers and poets on the TOC were going to be. I’m honoured to share pages with people like Jonathan Maberry, Gabino Iglesias, Michelle Garza and Melissa Lason (aka the sisters of slaughter), Linda Addison, Eric J. Guignard, Cynthia Pelayo, Beverley Lee, Alyson Faye, Stephanie Wytovich, Laurel Hightower, Tabatha Wood, Stephanie Ellis, Catherine McCarthy … I could go on and on (and on!). Hell, even the introduction was written by a legend in Ronald Kelly. It goes without saying that I’m delighted to be among such talented people.
Already near the top of the ‘Hot New Releases’ list on Amazon for horror, I hope and believe this book is going to be a big hit. Don’t miss it, grab your copy here.