In just a few days, Higher Learning will be unleashed into this world. (May 6th!!!) As always, let’s take a minute to talk about the inspiration behind this story.
In Tweed, we used to have three schools; a Catholic school for grades Kindergarten through 8, a primary public school for grades Junior Kindergarten to 3 and across the road from that, a middle grade public school for grades 4 through 8. A few years ago, the two public schools were torn down and a new school built for all grades. While it was a much-needed upgrade, it still makes me a little sad. I guess, at least, my girls got to attend the same school I did for their primary grades, right? Or is that sad too? I don’t know.
Anyway, while the new school was a good thing, there were some cranky pants around town that didn’t think it was a good way to spend taxpayer dollars. Most of the cranky pants don’t actually pay taxes or have kids, but we won’t discuss that. “Why not fix up the old schools?” they asked. “It’d be cheaper than building a brand new one.” In reality, it wasn’t cheaper to fix the old schools. It probably would’ve cost a lot more, because they were OLD. The primary school had asbestos issues (I heard), and two schools required more staff, so in the long run, one new school was the most cost-effective way to go.
The bitching and moaning of some parents never left my thoughts, though. They were more upset than they needed to be, in my opinion. I often wondered what they thought was going to happen. Why did it bother them so much that their kids would be going to a modern school with all the bells and whistles that involves? Some of them acted like there was a conspiracy at play.
Later, I had an idea for something involving a siren-type character, but I didn’t want it to be the typical sexy beast lures men to their death kind of story, so I didn’t write it immediately. I let it marinate for a while. As I played around with a few ideas, the school conspiracy thing slipped into my musings and I thought, what if a supernatural being controlled our kids? What if there really was something sinister behind the construction of that school?
While we didn’t get a new principal or shiny new mystery man, some of the changes the parents in the story deal with, such as not being able to just roam the school freely, were the same.
That’s basically where HIGHER LEARNING originated. Of course, I made some tweaks in each revision. Refined the idea, added this or that. The kids were the key to the horror elements. I mean, you can’t go wrong with creepy kids, right?
Anyway, you can pre-order your signed copy of HIGHER LEARNING from Unnerving now. There are only 50 copies available, so once they’re gone, that’s it.
And the rest of the year is filling up fast. On May 15th, Aphotic Realm will be releasing its APPALACHIAN HORROR anthology, which includes my story, TRESPASSER, along with tales from several talented authors. Get that too.
On June 27th, I’ll be releasing HOWL as well, via Unnerving.
Finally, in September, THE ONE YOU FEED will be released. Oh my God, I’m excited to share this one with the world, and immensely nervous. I’ll write more about that as the release date approaches.
So, that’s it, I guess. Come back next week so we can talk about where the hell I came up with the shit that happens in HOWL.