FLASHBACK – The Meep Sheep Trilogy

When I first discovered the wonders of self-publishing – and yeah, I’ll say wonders, darn it because for folks like me that can’t get in with a traditional publisher it’s an amazing asset to be able to utilize to get your work out to the world – one of the big things I wanted to do was to get work out that had been sitting in digital drawers. It’s one thing to sit on an idea but an entirely different one to sit on a finished work and I was sitting on several. 

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One of the things I was sitting on was called Messy and the Meep Sheep, later to become The Meep Sheep. 

Everything started out completely randomly when I started making up fake animals at a job I was working. Bumble Kitties were the first ones, I believe, and they were small cats with wings – I still waffle on what sort they have since not EVERYTHING can have bumble bee wings – that would perch in trees and buzz melodically. If you caught a full bumble tree you might even hear a song. 

Meep Sheep came next and these little critters were small sheep that flew around and could sense when someone was upset. Sensing this, the sheepies would fly to that person and sneak under an arm for a squeeze and MEEP your mood would improve. 

Oh, sure, these are silly little ideas, especially for a guy in his late twenties and into his thirties, but they were stuck with me and I with them. As I thought about them and built little mythologies for them I decided to do something more and wrote my story Messy and the Meep Sheep. The main character was a princess who was unsure she wanted to rule over a kingdom or pursue her own interests. I used a friend as inspiration for the character and once the story was done I made it into a chapbook. It was a lovely little tale and was far, far different than what I was accustomed to writing. 

I loved it. 

One of the things I have found over the years is how rewarding it is to stretch myself as a writer and to experiment. I may be into horror but that’s not all I am into and I fancied my Meep Sheep story as a Grimm’s Fairy Tale without so much grim. It was a fantasy story and I loved it. 

Over the years I realized that there may be a lot more to this world of magic, flying sheep, and witches, than I realized and I began to flesh it all out. The Meep Sheep is a novel of short stories, to a degree, in that they are stories that are all connected and occur in the same world, but which all stand on their own. In those stories I created a world where darkness was held at bay by Mistresses of Magic but one where a great, malevolence stalked those shadows in the hope of spreading them. In that first book I was able to pay tribute to some people that meant a lot to me and created my first book that could essentially be sold to ‘anyone’. 

It was dark, but not morbid or mean-spirited. 

With the release of The Meep Sheep, officially my third book released, I felt like I had opened up a new world and a new chapter in my writing. I didn’t have to JUST write horror, I could write whatever attracted me, and I loved that. I also loved that it gave me a broader spectrum of work to promote and sell at shows. 

DIVERSIFY!

After the release of the first book I was pretty content. 

The book was a big story, with epic strokes, and it felt complete. 

Then I felt an itch. 

Maybe there was more to say in that world. 

Hmm. 

I began a Tumblr – a microblogging site – with the intention to tell the history of the world of the Meep Sheep and the Land of Man. These would be little bites to get people interested in my book and would give me an outlet for my more fantastical stories. I wrote several and slowly built the world out. Its history. Its creatures. Its characters. 

I even wrote a sequel story to the book and there was where a door was opened and I asked myself…What If? What if I went back to the world? What if I saw what else was there?

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The excitement of further fleshing out this world and its history really appealed to me and slowly but surely I began writing the historical stories for this place as well as some sequel stories. Together, this all made up The Kreep Sheep, which featured new characters, new critters, and new villains. 

This was a slight little book of stories but it helped me tell this story even more wholly and let me stretch myself even more. 

It has always come easily for me to write dark stories, but it was in writing something that was suited more for all ages that was a fun challenge. 

This book was a little darker than the previous one but as this series went on things got darker and darker, something I was comfortable with as the readers would age into things as they progressed with the story. 

As years passed and I wrote more stories and put out more books, the stories of the flying sheep never left my heart or mind. The more I thought about all of it the more I started to feel as if there was maybe one more story to tell. The story to wrap up this saga of Messy and her friends and loved ones. The story of the evil witch and those that came after her. A story about the lands themselves and the tightrope they walked between war and peace as the surrounding lands to the Land of Man guarded their lands jealously and dangerously. It’d only take a little…push to drive them towards war. Then finally there was the great wide world beyond the thicket, where all things came from, and all things may return. 

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This last book was to be a book of war and danger and an end to things. This would be my epic, inspired in part by the likes of the Lord of the Rings and the epic battles of history.

It was the darkest book of the three and easily the most action packed but it has a heck of an ending that I adore. It was hard to balance the growing horror and the approachability the other books had but I was determined to do just that, to walk that line. 

The Last Sheep was the last book in the series and the end of my fairy tale books that were grim, but not too grim. They are a trilogy that tells one story about a big world and the power of love, fear, magic, and hate. 

It’s been years since I have written a story in this world, and while I don’t believe that all stories end, this one did need an ending and I am happy with it. 

I could write about this place and people for books and books and books. Maybe someday I’ll return, I dunno. 

For now, I am content with where things are and where they have ended. 

I am proud of these books for the growth they show in my writing and how I tell stories and for how they tell these stories. 

I love that these are part of my catalog, the subject matter so different than zombies, hillbillies, monsters, and the rest. 

You can still see me in the books, but I am not as obvious. 

I love these books dearly and think you may as well. 

Click the images to be taken to links to buy the books.

…c…

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