April, it's easy to understand why you wanted to create this anthology, but how did you find the courage. Most people I know are in total denial about getting older and embracing the changes in their bodies and their lifestyles. I continually have to remind myself I can't do things the way I used to--and it's always hard for me to keep to my resolution to accept it.
Hell’s Grannies was inspired by my own wrangling with the aging process. A few years back at a convention I had put forth the idea of a panel called, “Wearing Purple: women writers of a certain age.”. To my surprise, the topic was controversial -- everyone on the panel (and in the audience) insisted that aging had not affected them or their writing.
I was shocked. I find that as my body ages I have less energy to grouse at the world. I need to save my strength for what is REALLY important. My perspective has changed as has my sexuality. I AM different. A whole new person. Why are my fellow writers denying this? Maybe it’s just me.
Anyhow, I put out the call for short stories citing the old Monty Python sketch, “Hell’s Grannies” and asking my writers to reflect on the poem by Jenny Joseph, “Warning.”
The amazing collection of stories I received from Rayne Hall, Jonathan Broughton, Mark Cassell, Amy Grech, Alp Beck, Phillip T. Stephens, Judith Rook, Annemarie Shiavi Pedersen and Patricia Cochrane completely blew me away. I also snuck in my own story, “Exile.”
There are historical tales, dark fiction and humor. Humorous stories are especially highlighted as aging seems to require a certain crazy wisdom.
Is this book part of a series?
Yes. It’s the second book, the first being Hell’s Garden: Tales of Mad, Bad and Ghostly Gardeners. The third book will be Hell’s Kitties, when I get to it.
It sounds fascinating and fun--and if my experience is correct--there will be people like those who will insist that it's fiction and does not apply to them--but that's the power of writing, especially in the speculative genres.
Thanks so much for sharing with us--and for editing this book.
April Grey's short stories, published in both print anthologies and on-line, are collected in The Fairy Cake Bakeshop and in I'll Love You Forever. She edited the anthology Hell's Garden: Mad, Bad and Ghostly Gardeners. Her urban fantasy novels Chasing The Trickster and St. Nick’s Favor are available at Amazon.com.
Her dark fantasy novel, Finding Perdita will be published by Damnation Books next year.