Here’s an interview with Aimee Kuzenski, another of our Battling in All Her Finery authors!
DV: Tell us a bit about yourself!
Aimee Kuzenski: I have silver in my hair, a theater degree, and a hairless cat. I was once an engineer, and I spend a lot of time practicing eskrima, a Filipino martial art.
DV: What inspired you to write “Cassiopeia, Queen of Ethiopia” for Battling in All Her Finery?
AK: When I was getting my theater degree, I worked at the college radio station, hosting the folk show on Sunday mornings. One of my favorite songs (the artist has been lost to the vagaries of my memory, alas) was called “Cassiopeia.” It got lodged in my head one day, and I decided to go look up the actual myth, and I got MAD. The story is essentially my response.
DV: Your story has an amazing blend of mytho-historical events and fantasy. What interesting things did you learn about Cassiopeia and her family while writing this story?
AK: After I reread the myth a few times, a few elements struck me as ripe for subversion. Cassiopeia is described as vain, and it bothered me a lot that something so traditionally feminine apparently warranted death by sea monster. I wanted to explore a queen who was allowed to be both feminine and moral, and the consequences of that sort of ruler in a world that assumes them to be polar opposites.
DV: Without too many spoilers, your story ends on a note that there is more to come. Do you plan to return to these characters or setting in future stories?
AK: There is absolutely more to come. Cassiopeia has undertaken an enormous task, and getting what she wants won’t be easy, and might not be as satisfying as she thinks. I want to see where she goes from here.
DV: What’s on the horizon for you?
AK: I’m shopping around a novel right now about a scientist who makes the unpleasant discovery that the undead her people use as slaves aren’t as soulless as they seem, and I’m working on the first draft of a space opera with elves and living FTL treeships.
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