Two and Twenty Dark Tales is an anthology from Month9Books that focuses on retelling Mother Goose nursery rhymes with a dark, edgy twist. Michelle Zink, author and co-editor of Two and Twenty Dark Tales gives us the scoop on the project which releases today.
Tell us five random facts about yourself.
- I have terrible social anxiety, but no one ever guesses because I was in sales for a long time and trained myself to seem outgoing.
- I recently became a vegetarian and try to be vegan as much as possible. Best. Decision. Ever.
- I am a single mother to four teenagers. Yes. FOUR.
- In the winter, I live almost exclusively in UGG boots and pajamas and often go to the grocery store dressed just like that.
- I can only NOT write for about a week before I start to get edgy.
For Two and Twenty Dark Tales you are an editor as well as an author. How did that come about?
Georgia and I became friends back when Prophecy of the Sisters was releasing and she had just started YALitChat. She was tremendously supportive of Prophecy and all my books. In 2011, she suggested I give freelance editing a try while I was between writing projects. Much to my surprise, I found that I had a knack for it. More importantly, I found it gratifying to help other writers prepare their manuscripts for querying agents or submitting to publishers. When Georgia asked if I’d be interested in co-editing the Two and Twenty Dark Tales anthology, I jumped at the chance. I’m so glad I did!
Tell us the idea behind creating the anthology.
A lot of people are unaware that YALitChat funds grants for writers. But it does! Georgia thought a charitable anthology would be a great way both to get the word out about YALitChat’s grant program and to expand its reach. And it’s hard to argue with something that has the potential to help other writers attend conferences and pay for marketing.
Can you tell us a little bit about the idea behind using Mother Goose nursery rhymes as the basis for the stories in the anthology?
I have to give all the credit to Georgia! When she approached me to co-edit, the concept was already in place. To say I was intrigued by the idea of creating very dark retellings of Mother Goose rhymes would be an understatement.
What nursery rhyme is your story, A Ribbon of Blue, based on?
A Ribbon of Blue is based on Johnny’s So Long At the Fair, which reads in part;
He’ll buy me a twopenny whistle
He’ll but me a threepenny fair
He’ll buy me a Bunch o’ Blue Ribbons
To tye up my bonny Brown Hair
What was your favorite scene to write and why?
It probably sounds morbid, but I loved writing the last scene. There was something magical about turning something frightening and devastating into something beautiful. I won’t say any more because I don’t want to be all spoilery.
What types of stories can we expect from Two and Twenty Dark Tales?
There is sadness and loss and fear and loathing and melancholy and poignancy and treachery and destruction. Did I leave anything out?! ;)
About ‘Two and Twenty Dark Tales’
TWO AND TWENTY DARK TALES: DARK RETELLINGS OF MOTHER GOOSE RHYMES. THIS AIN’T YOUR TODDLER’S MOTHER GOOSE BOOK!
Fairy tales sung sweetly can take us back to childhood, but just beneath those same sweet tales, is a hint of something dark…
Month9Books, a new publisher of speculative fiction for teens and tweens launches in October 2012, with the release of TWO AND TWENTY DARK TALES: DARK RETELLINGS OF MOTHER GOOSE RHYMES. This unique collaboration’s proceeds (from the first 5,000 copies sold) will be donated to YALITCHAT.ORG, an organization that fosters the advancement, reading, writing and acceptance of young adult literature worldwide. TWO AND TWENTY DARK TALES: DARK RETELLINGS OF MOTHER GOOSE RHYMES features some of today’s most admired young adult authors, including: Michelle Zink, Lisa Mantchev, Sarwat Chadda, Nina Berry, Leigh Fallon, Suzanne Young, C. Lee McKenzie, Angie Frazier, Jessie Harrell, Gretchen McNeil, KM Walton, Heidi R. Kling, Nancy Holder, Karen Mahoney, Suzanne Lazear, Pamela van Hylckama Vlieg, Shannon Delany with Max Scialdone, Leah Cypess, Sayantani DasGupta, and Georgia McBride, founder of Month9Books. Francisco X. Stork, author of the critically acclaimed MARCELLO IN THE REAL WORLD, provides a foreword that is nearly as riveting as the stories themselves.
When asked why they wanted to be a part of TWO AND TWENTY DARK TALES: DARK RETELLINGS of MOTHER GOOSE RHYMES, the authors had a lot to say!
“I’m so excited to be working on Month9Books’s epic anthology. I’ve been a Tudor© nerd since before the Tudors© were cool, and this nursery rhyme is about the accession of the Scottish king, James VI, to the English throne (as James I.)” — New York Times Bestselling author, Nancy Holder
“As soon as I heard the anthology’s theme, I knew there was no stopping me! I love anything to do with folklore, so immediately latched onto ‘One for Sorrow’ as my story’s basis. I’ve wanted to write a crow story for a long time, and this was the perfect excuse!” — Karen Mahoney, author of The Iron Witch and The Wood Queen, Flux Books