In collaboration with editors John Joseph Adams and Hugh Howey, A Dribble of Ink is proud to introduce a series of interviews with the authors of The End Has Come, the final volume in the The Apocalypse Triptych. Following on The End is Nigh, and The End Is Here, The End Has Come contains 23 stories about life after the apocalypse.
Interview with Mira Grant about “The Happiest Place”
(Interview by Gwen Whiting)
Your story, “The Happiest Place,” is set in a post-apocalyptic Disneyland where survivors of an epidemic have gathered. What inspired you to choose this particular setting?
I really really really really really love Disneyland, and any excuse to spend time there–even during a horrific apocalypse that is inevitably going to kill basically everyone–is cool by me. I literally wrote this story to creep out my best friend. I did a good job.
Share with us your happiest—or most—unusual Disney memory.
My happiest Disney memory ties into Disney World, not Disneyland. See, I grew up super-poor, and I remember seeing commercials for Disney World on TV when I was a kid and asking my mother if we could go. She said no, because Disney World was only for rich people. Jump forward a bunch of years, until I have a stable job and a good understanding of financial planning. I’m nowhere near rich–I’m poorer than I was a few years ago, before I quit my job–but I know how to budget. And I took my mother to Disney World. She nearly fainted when she saw the Castle for real for the first time. I did good.
Your main character, Amy, is someone that I think readers will identify with. She cares about family, she’s strong and determined and she also holds her position of authority not because she necessarily wants the job but because she’s the closest thing left to a leader. Is Amy–or the situation that she finds herself in–based on anyone that you know? On personal experience?
Amy is a love letter to every amazing Disney Cast Member who has ever helped me have a magical day. I mean that unironically.
What part of this story did you find the most difficult to write?
Striking the balance between “fair use of this place which is open to the public” and “getting sued into oblivion by Disney’s lawyers” was super-fun and I am glad I have done it once so I do not need to do it again.
Disease and specifically, epidemics and their aftermath appears in much of your work. How did you become interested in this topic? Do you find yourself particularly fascinated by any one aspect of this (be it a disease, recent event in the news, etc.) right now?
Honestly, right now, the recent measles outbreak at Disneyland is the most interesting thing in the world to me. We dodged such a bullet with that one–it could have been so much worse–and it’s just the beginning. I got interested in disease because disease was already interested in me, and this seemed fair.
Do you think that humanity will ever experience a worldwide catastrophic event that might create situations such as that in “The Happiest Place”? If so, what form do you think such an event would take?
I’d like to say I don’t, but honestly, I do. I think we’re going to see something nasty and novel come out of someplace we don’t expect, and it’s going to knock us on our asses. I may mutter about a return of smallpox, but that’s not going to wipe us out. Something new and unpleasant is going to get that honor.
About Mira Grant
Mira Grant hails from somewhere between hell and high water, with an emphasis on whichever is drier at the moment. She spends most of her time researching things most people are happier not knowing about. Mira is the author of the Newsflesh trilogy, as well as the Parasitism series. In her spare time, Mira likes to visit Disney Parks around the world, which is possibly one of her creepiest hobbies. She also writes as Seanan McGuire, filling the role of her own good twin, and hopes you realize that the noise you just heard probably wasn’t the wind.
About the anthology
Famine. Death. War. Pestilence. These are the harbingers of the biblical apocalypse, of the End of the World. In science fiction, the end is triggered by less figurative means: nuclear holocaust, biological warfare/pandemic, ecological disaster, or cosmological cataclysm.
But before any catastrophe, there are people who see it coming. During, there are heroes who fight against it. And after, there are the survivors who persevere and try to rebuild.
Edited by acclaimed anthologist John Joseph Adams and bestselling author Hugh Howey, The Apocalypse Triptych is a series of three anthologies of apocalyptic fiction. The End Is Nigh focuses on life before the apocalypse. The End is Now turns its attention to life during the apocalypse. And The End Has Come focuses on life after the apocalypse.