The Monsters That Dwell Underneath the Juniper Tree

Over the past 10 months, I’ve had the privilege to be part of the wonderful, demented group of writers and artists at Underneath the Juniper Tree. The magazine gave me my first fiction publishing credit and is where Mab Ipswich and Kuwa Ibukishita made their wicked debuts.

Underneath the Juniper Tree is first and foremost a macabre children’s literary magazine dedicated to traumatizing the world’s young with, as the motto goes, “the stories your grandpa wouldn’t tell you.” Think of the stories that frightened you as a kid – Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, Edward Gorey, or Dr. Seuss’s infamous snuff book Horton Hears a Who Being Brutally Murdered with an Chainsaw, and Enjoys It!

But it’s also a great community of like-minded weirdos, people who like to lurk in the shadows and pick up rotted logs to see what crawls and squirms in the dark earth. Not only do we have similar, twisted tastes, but Majorie Merle and Tex, the shadowy caretakers of the Juniper Tree, have cultivated a wonderful network, and sense of support and camaraderie among the many contributors.

It’s a truly global community, too. Just the stories I’ve had published in Juniper Tree have been illustrated by artists from the U.S., Grenada, Colombia/Canada, and the Philippines. It’s a great group of truly creative people and I feel very lucky to be among their dark number.

Now, after a year of being an online only magazine, Juniper Tree is ready to make the leap to the printed page.

Majorie and Tex are putting together an anthology of the best of the best art and writing from the past year of issues. The anthology will be printed in book format with a beautiful embossed cover. What I’m saying here is, it’ll be snazzy. They haven’t said what stories will be included, but I’m guessing/hoping/blackmailing that Mab will be among them.

As Juniper Tree is a free, non-profit, all-volunteer publication, we need your help to get the anthology on the page and on the shelves. To that end, Majorie and Tex have launched an indiegogo (like Kickstarter) campaign to raise money to make the anthology a reality. Contributors will get goods based on their donation: art postcards, posters, a Juniper Tree calendar, a signed copy of the anthology, ad space, etc. There are even discussions of the anthology being promoted by Hot Topic and Spencer’s Gifts, bringing me one step closer to achieving my life goal of having sullen Goth preteens putting Mab stickers on their hover-boards.

The campaign website is here: http://www.indiegogo.com/UnderneathTheJuniperTree

If you’ve enjoyed my Mab and Kuwa stories and the amazing art that has come with them, I’d humbly ask that you make a donation and make this anthology a reality. With every dollar you give, a child in desperate need of being traumatized will be traumatized. Your generosity will inspire nightmares for years to come.

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