July 1, 2012, I did an offbeat photoshoot based on the character Miriam Black of Chuck Wendig’s novel BLACKBIRDS. When I read BLACKBIRDS, I had this familiar connection to the character and the environment because the imagery is similar to Kimberly Benson’s HERETIC CITY fashion line. There are over 100 shots in the flickr gallery.

You should give a listen to my interviews with Chuck Wendig and Kimberly Benson.

Miriam Black is a foulmouthed heavy drinker and chain smoker. She is also possessed with a peculiar gift whereby skin-on-skin contact gives her the vision of how a person will die. She can’t stop the deaths and can’t outrun fate. She hitchhikes from town to town scavenging what little money and cigarettes she can from the dead. She accepts a ride from a trucker named Louis and experiences feelings new to her.

Ashley dabbles in photography so we made a plan to do a photoshoot about BLACKBIRDS where Miriam, who is described as wearing a white t-shirt, would actually be wearing a Heretic City tee. I sent Chuck a few test shots and asked his advice on the wig styling. Miriam doesn’t actually have birds and feathers in her messy “just-been-fucked” black locks but the cover design by Joey HiFi is so spectacular, I wanted to try and capture that element too. We did a bit of trespassing and captured Miriam’s spirit as best as possible.


* Port Colden Manor
* Scary truck stop on Route 31
* Closed American Can factory
* Mansfield Motel
* Intersection of Shades of Death and Hope Roads (yep, they’re real, not photoshopped)
* Cemetery Road

You can get BLACKBIRDS in audio book format as well!

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