Monday 18 March 2024

Micro-interview with Jennifer R. Donohue

Jennifer R. Donohue, author of “The Ensanguined Shore” in The Future Fire #68, joins us for a chat about mythology, mythography, and the sea.

Art © 2024 Sebastian Timpe

TFF: What does “The Ensanguined Shore” mean to you?

Jennifer R. Donohue: I’ve been a reader of Greek mythology practically since I could read; D’Aulaire’s Book of Greek Myths is one of the first longer books I remember reading. I checked it out from my local public library, and pored over the stories and the illustrations. I even have a copy of that same edition now, that I bought at a church rummage sale. I don't have it at hand, so I can't double-check how whether/how detailed the material from the Iliad is there, but the Harpies and Sirens are definitely mentioned, and that’s largely where “my” sirens come from, bird people with wings, but also arms, and bird legs, and powerful voices that can hurt, or soothe, or beguile. I read the Fagles translation of the Iliad in college, and the detailing of everybody's interpersonal conflicts on the beach outside of Troy, in addition to the ongoing war, really gripped me. Transporting it to a future setting, and inserting a journalist like National Geographic or Evan Wright’s Generation Kill, was an approach that flowed freely once I happened upon it, and there were some scenes that I had crystal-clear in my mind's eye as I wrote them, like I was scrolling through the longform article that Patty would later publish.

TFF: What is your favourite (real or literary) sea creature and why?

JD: I really like crabs, actually. Horseshoe crabs specifically, and that's reflected in my short story “Nothing Left But Mud,” which takes its title from “The Crab Who Played With the Sea” by Rudyard Kipling. I like crabs in general, though, I think that they're weird and interesting little guys, and certainly have more crab stories in me. I don't think it's because my Zodiac sign is Cancer, but maybe that's a strong contributor and I'm just in denial about it.

TFF: What are you working on next?

JD: I've got Run With the Hunted 7: [title to be determined? maybe The Casino Job] started for its October release. I’m also releasing, throughout 2024, a werewolf trilogy! Learn to Howl comes out on March 5, and the other books will come out in July and September.


Most of us have bags packed when it comes down from command that there’s a freeze on leave, again. Groans and growls ripple through the ranks as us officers are told via HUD, and we tell our soldiers.

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