Deadhead Mile

Take a trip around the world with Scout Media‘s latest short story anthology, A Journey of Words

Today’s A Journey of Words blog post features author K.N. Johnson, and her story “Deadhead Mile“.

Brief synopsis of your AJOW story: A postman skis his route in a remote, snowy region only to discover someone or something arrived before him.
What inspired you to write this story? I came across the true story of Snowshoe Thompson, the legendary skiing mailman, as well as folk legends of the Loup Garou and Sidehill Gouger. I’m intrigued by how stories, both true and legend, morph with time. I think many folk legends grew out of people trying to understand the world around them with the limited knowledge they had. When someone is experiencing pure fear, imaginary creatures may seem very possible, very real.
How long have you been writing? Since childhood. I remember a Halloween where I cried to be a princess, but we had nothing of that sort in the house. My mom dressed me in my dad’s shirt with pens in the pocket, popped a men’s fedora on my head with a paper proclaiming “PRESS”. She handed me a clipboard and said, “Well, you’re the writer in the family.” She was right, of course. I’d create little newspapers about family events, miniature magazines for Barbie dolls, children’s books in scribble pads, and even tiny, folded notes for my mother denouncing her for not buying me enough books. My room was consumed with my writings and paper creations. My poor mother!
What genre do you usually write in and why? In general, I write horror. Or let’s say, those are the stories I seem to complete. For many reasons, I was a fearful child plagued by nightmares and this led to a strange pursuit of everything paranormal, haunting, or reality-bending. I’d like to think writing in this genre works out my own fears, but I still have the nightmares. Now I just write them down.
What else are you working on writing at the moment? I’m revising my debut novel, tentatively titled “The Birthling”. I’m easily distracted with other ideas, though, and am also working on stories about an Amberola that foretells the future and a couple so obsessed with digging for treasure, they risk their most important treasure of all.
What advice do you have to give to new writers? Read writers you love and try to figure out why you love their stories. Then, make time to write. Write absolute rubbish just to get your story down. You can’t be a writer if you don’t write, write, write.
How can people discover more about you and your work?



About Laurie Gardiner

Laurie has loved writing as long as she can remember. Her first published work, “'Til Death Do Us Part,” placed first in the 1997 Cambridge Writers’ Collective short story contest. Her latest works include short stories, “Retribution" and "Thief," appearing respectively in Scout Media's 2016 and 2017 anthologies, A Journey of Words and A Haunting of Words. Over the years, her poetry has also been published in various anthologies. Her debut novel, Tranquility, published in 2015, by Escargot Books and Music, was inspired by her work as a personal support worker specializing in dementia care. In 2015, she graduated with honors from Conestoga College’s Creative Writing program. She’s a Canadian, an avid reader, a yogi, and a Gemini. She grew up on a farm in remote northern Ontario, and now lives in Cambridge, Ontario with her husband and cat.
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