We have the pleausre of introducing Donna J. W. Munro, the brilliant mind behind the story "I Speak for the Trees". We loved this gut-wrenching tale so much we made it the very first i our anthology "It Calls From the Forest: Volume Two", and are very excited to share this story with you on our blog.
Donna J. W. Munro’s pieces are published in Dark Moon Digest # 34, Flash Fiction Magazine, Astounding Outpost, Nothing’s Sacred Magazine IV and V, Corvid Queen, Hazard Yet Forward (2012), Enter the Apocalypse (2017), Beautiful Lies, Painful Truths II (2018), Terror Politico (2019), Burning Love, Bleeding Hearts (2020), and others. Her upcoming novel, Revelations: Poppet Cycle 1, will be published by Omnium Gatherum in 2020.
Have you always written, or was there a catalyst that prompted you to begin this journey?
The first real story I wrote was in a high school comp class. It was about a party at my house gone wrong and though completely inappropriate, my teacher told me to keep writing fiction. I’d always admired the greats of genre, but my favorites (Bradbury, Sturgeon, Dick, King, Poe) all wrote a particular kind of darkness that I wanted to capture. They shaped my writing.
What is your favourite genre to read?
Dark fantasy. Twilight Zone type stories with a moment of realization that the world isn’t what you were told it would be. I love a good horror, sci fi, or fantasy, but my favorites make the monster the hero and the world the villain.
Do you remember the first piece of writing shared publicly? What were people’s reactions, but more importantly how did you react getting it out there?
My 11th grade creative writing class put together a literary magazine. I put in ten or so terrible angsty poems. But people seemed to like them. In college, I won first place for prose in their literary magazine. They had a public reading and invited me, which was a terrible mistake on their part. My story was about a serial killer who hunted for God. Very disturbing. I think when my pieces find their people, I get a real thrill. When people “get it” and come to me with a shiver, I know I did my part.
I loved/love having people enjoy my writing. Getting it into the world is a birth and having people react is like watching it grow up. It is wonderful getting a piece out into the wider world.
What is your workspace like? What kind of atmosphere do you need to write?
I have a little office in the basement. It’s a lovely finished room with a big bookshelf and lots of horror art. All of my writer friends’ books are on that shelf along with useful references (witchcraft books, monster encyclopedias, haunted places collections. You know… the classics). I don’t always work down there, but it is my space and I love it.
Horror occasionally veers into the paranormal or supernatural, that's what makes it fun in my opinion. Do you believe in the supernatural?
Yes. There’s magic in the existence of our consciousness and the questions we can ask. I believe that alone proves there’s so much more to this reality than what we’ve discovered, mapped, and quantified. Besides that, I’ve had some personal experiences with unexplained things.
Without giving too much away, tell us about the short story you have featured in “It calls to the Forest: Volume Two”. What inspired you?
“I Speak for the Trees” is an homage to Dr. Suess. If you look for them, you will see all the elements of The Lorax in my story. I just gave them mythology and lots and lots of teeth. I’m part of a weekly flash fiction writing contest called Obsidian Flash. We post images to inspire each other. I don’t know why the creature image that week immediately took me to The Lorax, but it did.
We have the pleasure of not only giving you a sneak peek but offer you Donna's gut-wrenching story "I Speak For The Trees" in all of its entirety right here on our blog. You are not going to want to miss this.
One editorial review said this: "Donna J.W.Munro blasts the reader into her world-building from the outset, with I Speak for the Trees. From then on, the stories go further into madness as the trees and all its denizens come to life."
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They warned us not to enter, but we didn't listen. The call too strong to ignore. And now there is no one left to save us.
Beware, these things within the forest will rip out your heart and devour your soul. You will tremble as they revel in your madness, taking everything from you and leaving you with nothing. Delve inside this anthology of what truly lurks within the shadows of the trees.
Eerie River Publishing brings you another round of exceptional horror by award-winning authors from around the globe.