Posts Tagged ‘weird fiction’
In Michael Wehunt’s debut short story collection, Greener Pastures, readers will enjoy a variety of his favorite short stories – everything from unsettling horror, to spooky fun, to Southern gothic, to unnerving dogs and haunted woods. If you’re looking for unsettling stories that touch on a variety of themes, this is a collection you should look. Greener Pastures was nominated for the Crawford Award, which is presented annually by the International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts for a first book of fantasy.
Michael had some fun when Greener Pastures came out from Apex Publications, he made a bunch of meme-ish images, and they are hilarious! I’ll be posting a few of them throughout the interview, here’s a link to the whole collection. Michael’s short fiction has appeared in Innsmouth Magazine, Shock Totem Magazine, Aghast, Unlikely Story, The Dark, Cemetery Dance, Year’s Best Weird Fiction Vol 3, and The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy and Horror 2016 among many others. Michael was kind enough to answer my questions about the amazing cover art on this collection, how he knew what should go in the collection and what should be left out, why writing horror is so much fun, and more! Let’s get to the interview!
Andrea Johnson: The cover art for Greener Pastures features some easter eggs that connect with stories in the collection. Most authors don’t have any control over the cover art of their books, but you had a number of conversations with cover artist Michael Bukowksi about what you wanted in the artwork. What can you tell us about your brainstorming sessions with the artist and how the two of you decided what the cover art should include?
Michael Wehunt: I was lucky to be able to commission an artist for a new piece, and I was doubly lucky to choose someone as talented and collaborative as Michael. He was enthusiastic and communicative from the beginning. The first thing I told him was that I was open to anything. The second thing was an asterisk regarding the first thing—that I had my heart set on trees. Not every story in Greener Pastures features trees, but the book as a whole felt very woodsy and earthy to me. And I knew from Michael’s style that the trees would look amazing and draw the viewer in. We started brainstorming with the diner from the title story, crowded on one side by the woods, but as soon as Michael read the story “October Film Haunt: Under the House,” he really wanted to use the dog with the wooden crown in its mouth as the focal point (the dog unnerved him deeply), and that was instantly a yes for both of us. So the woods became the entire backdrop, which was the right choice. From there we decided to do a full wraparound cover, which was exciting, and with the extra space we chose elements from three other stories to include in the art, and a year later I’m still in love with the entire piece.