Where did the idea come from?
During summer exam time my friend told me she was “crying letters”. I told her I was stealing her phrase to write a story. The idea also came from a lot of smaller, less significant things. Reading about tarot cards. Living in a house without central heating. That story, with the girl who tells her father she loves him “as much as meat loves salt”. Missing my little sister (who is still alive, just living on the other side of the city).
You know the advice “Sometimes you have to kill your darlings.” Was there a scene or line that it really hurt to cut, but cutting it made the story stronger? May we reprint that scene or line? Or link to a very old version so that we may marvel at how much it changed?
I usually have the opposite problem, having to add scenes or lines so that certain things make more sense, or any sense at all. I was lucky with this story, though, and didn’t have to clarify or cut much at all.
How is this story like your other work? How is it different?
It’s a lot more solid than many of my other stories, even though it’s about going down to the underworld. It’s probably not even as weird as a lot of what I’ve written. That may say a lot about my other stories.
When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I wanted to be a lot of other things, for a long time. I was going to be a famous actress, or a singer. Then a child psychologist. Then the owner of a bookstore-slash-tattoo-parlour. At the moment I’m intrigued by the idea of becoming a master woodworker. It doesn’t seem to be a coincidence, though, that the only thing I actually enjoy spending any time working on is writing.
Who do you write for? Yourself or someone else?
I write for exorcism. Sometimes for money. (Not often.)
Favorite book read when you were a child?
All of the Dido Twite books by Joan Aiken.
Do you believe in ghosts or the supernatural? Why?
I think it would be silly of me to definitively believe there is nothing out there that can’t be seen.
What’s your favorite kind of music?
My housemates and I build the most epic mix CDs. They’re full of great things, like the Decemberists, Neutral Milk Hotel, Joanna Newsom, Winterpills, the Dresden Dolls, Tori Amos, Iron & Wine, A Silver Mt. Zion, Sufjan Stevens.
Do you check your horoscope?
Recently every horoscope I’ve read has been frighteningly accurate. Coincidence? Probably.