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About the Author

Hello, I'm Jean Michelle Miernik, graduate school dropout and heretical church lady. My day job involves editing radical newsletters and helping manage social media for a covenantal church where Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Humanists, Muslims, Quakers, Baha'is, Flying Spaghetti Monster worshipers, and others celebrate all the holidays together in one orgiastic fusion potluck of spiritual, philosophical, and personal diversity.

Before sunrise and whenever else I can, I write earthy, ecstatic literary fiction packed with fiery taboos and sexy dudes such as Vikings, feral outlaws, steppe nomads, and sweet, sensitive scholars.

enjoying the local "Nerdic" Fire Festival, 2017

I am a member of Capital City Writers since 2015 and a noveling group called the Pigasus Pen since 2011.

I grew up in the Midwest as a high-achieving and secretly deviant Catholic schoolgirl. I still wear the plaid skirts. My favorite vice is curiosity, and my favorite fruit is the forbidden kind that gives you divine knowledge powers.

Driven by this original sin, I defected from parochial education halfway through my sophomore year and dove into an inner city public school with all the worldly wisdom of Kimmy Schmidt. The natives of that realm were extremely kind and patient with me, and some of them became my best friends for life, including my now-husband, a fellow former Catholic who used to serve at the altar of the bishop while tripping on acid.

In college and graduate school, I studied classical mythology, psychology, and child development. Meanwhile, I took every opportunity to "visit Planet Earth" by residing in squalid conditions in several less developed and/or war-destroyed countries and working in U.S. special education and behavior block classrooms.

Thoroughly satisfied with my disillusionment, I dropped out of graduate school to begin a career developing communications for a radically progressive covenantal community, where I have been working since 2006. I fell so deeply in love with reality during this time that I got married and made a baby.

My renewed interests in culture, sociology, myth, and storytelling led me to continue my "travels" through library archives in search of medieval folklore, continental Eurasian history, Victorian fairy tales, and forgotten gems of literature that can't be accessed through the magic of the internet. I've dug through moldy books out of print for a century or more, exhumed from university storage and untouched for decades.

I've read Straparola tales in Italian and folkloric magical realism in Spanish. I've tried to learn German to read the Grimm Brothers' field notes, but I got way sidetracked learning Rammstein songs, which did me no good at all. (I did find out that responding to a German-speaking person using lines from Rammstein songs is the funniest offensive party trick ever.)

Fortunately, Jack Zipes granted my fervent wish to read the Grimms' raw materials when he published his translation of their work in English. I consumed this book with the hunger of a hyena, crunching up its very bones and then licking the bloodstained earth. Thank you, Mr. Zipes.

My darling husband and muse pre-ordered Zipes' translation for me as soon as it became available, and he also searched the whole (online) world for me until he found an antique English translation of Joseph Victor von Scheffel's Ekkehard: A Tale of the Tenth Century. My husband is the very best.

I am an avid devotee of Terri Windling with all her wisdom and folkloric expertise.

I shall live badly if I do not write,
and I shall write badly if I do not live.


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