I Didn’t Break the Lamp: Interview with Ville Meriläinen

Today’s interview is with Ville Meriläinen, a returning MSJ author who also had a story in Fitting In!

DV: Tell us a bit about yourself!

Ville Meriläinen: You know that thing when you’re in a new group of people for an activity or whatever, and the group leader says “Let’s all go around and tell something about ourselves”? I have a recurring nightmare about that. I’m not very interesting.

DV: Your story is an interesting one in that it was inspired by our previous “unusual places” anthology theme, but it fit in with the I Didn’t Break the Lamp theme so well that we were thrilled to get to buy it this time around. Had you thought of it as an imaginary friend story when you originally wrote it?

VM: Sort of. It was primarily a ghost story with a twist, but because I’m a miserable pile of angst and seek to emotionally hurt my readers, I often ask myself “How could I make this worse?” when nearing the conclusion. Making the narrator “imaginary” felt like the unnecessary gut punch my three fans have come to expect.

DV: What other inspirations led to you writing this story?

VM: I had an idea to write the most cliché fantasy story that then twists into something else. It kinda backfired because 90% of the rejections were “This is a cliché fantasy story and we do not want it.” I believe I was very drunk when coming up with the idea.

DV: What is the coolest part of being a writer?

VM: I spend a lot of time wandering around the forest to outline stories in my head, so the winter.

DV: If you had an imaginary friend growing up, what was their name, and what were they like?

VM: No, but I have one now. Her name is Success and she taunts me by being constantly out of reach.

DV: What’s on the horizon for you?

VM: I’m really bad at talking about myself (see pt. 1), so I quickly found I’m not fit for self-publishing and sold my initially self-pubbed novel to a small press. Ghost Notes should be out from Digital Fiction Publishing by the time this anthology is out (and is available self-pubbed on Amazon if not). The fall issue of Cirsova Magazine has one of my short stories, and “Cataclysm Child” from MSJ’s Fitting In from 2016 is getting an audio reprint in The Centropic Oracle sometime this year. Because I don’t learn from my mistakes, I’ll probably self-pub another novel by the end of the year too.

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