Today, we’re talking with author Christine Lucas, who is an alum of two of our previous anthologies, Battling in All Her Finery and Utter Fabrication!
DV: Tell us a bit about yourself!
Christine Lucas: I’m Greek, and English is my second language. Writing was never in my plans, growing up, despite the fact that my high school language teacher insisted that one day I’d write. Now I wish I’d listened sooner. So many stories in my head that want to get out, so little time to write now, but I’m trying to type faster. And I have a horde of cats with plenty of stories to tell too, so I’d better start writing.
DV: What inspired you to write “Games of Angry Children” for I Didn’t Break the Lamp?
CL: This story originated from a challenge in the now closed Liberty Hall Writers Group, in which we had to write a flash story in ninety minutes or less. The story idea came from a combination of triggers/prompts, which included a teddy bear, a dark, hooded form holding a knife, and the phrase “don’t run with scissors.” And the creepy part of my mind added the rest. (Needless to say, all who participated that week wrote very cheerful (not) stuff…)
DV: Your story is definitely one of the darker ones in this anthology, but it also has just enough hope to make it uplifting. Is this a theme you find commonly in your writing?
CL: I’m generally drawn to the darker stuff. However, life with cats since childhood has shifted my perspective. I may wake up to the gutted remains of some unfortunate pigeon my cats decided to gift me, but then they’ll start chasing their tails or pounce on their shadows, and I remember that the Universe is not a completely grim place. Likewise, in my stories I like to include an uplifting beat to remind us that there’s light at the end of the tunnel. This might not be a benevolent light, and there’s always another tunnel (or more) ahead, but light there is. (And cats make excellent guides through the dark places).
DV: What is the coolest part of being a writer?
CL: A lot of things. Lying on the bed and call it “brainstorming”. Writing people you loathe into stories as cannon fodder. Or dragon chow. Or soggoth snacks. Getting one idea out of your head and onto digital paper, only to discover it spawned a litter of seven more ideas. Interacting with weird and wonderful fellow writers. And when you get a good review or fan mail, and you know that the weirdness in your head touched someone, somewhere across the globe, well, that’s better than chocolate.
DV: If you had an imaginary friend growing up, what was their name, and what were they like? (We will actually place this question second to last in the answers, but we’re putting it at the end because it is strictly optional!)
CL: I don’t know if it counts as an imaginary friend, but I used to talk to my dead cats growing up. I liked to believe that their spirits stayed with me for a while, and kept an eye for me when things got tough.
DV: What’s on the horizon for you?
CL: My short dark SF story “Neurons Lost and Found” has just been published in the Temporally Deactivated anthology from ZBN. And later this year, probably around Christmas, I’ll have a collection of short stories released from Candlemark & Gleam, titled Fates and Furies. It’s a collection of previously published short stories, speculative in nature, but with a distinct Greek flavour. It will include a story titled “A Thousand Myriad Waves from Home” which was originally written in Greek and won fourth prize in our annual SF writing contest in our very own Φανταστιcon here in Greece.
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