It came from Matt Thompson

Matt Thompson’s story “Luminaria” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 29 July 2016. My original plan for this story was for a kind of Borgesian pirate yarn – magic realism meets boys-own adventure, or something along those lines. I’m not sure I succeeded, but the concept of a metaphysical shipboard mutiny I’d finally arrived at stayed with me. I adapted a shorter, abandoned story I had lurking in the ‘trunk’ and it turned out to…

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A question for Suzanne J. Willis

Q: If your writing style were a bird, what type of bird would it be and why?

A: A bird uncaged, flying about a wonderfully strange garden. A bird who collects the beautiful shiny things that catch its eye, then weaves them into a story-nest, built of twigs and branches and Spanish moss. The garden is the framework, the rules of writing, but they’re there to support the story, not to constrain it. Within the rules is an abundance of space to play and to map one’s own path. The story-nest is pruned and plucked and woven over and over, with the bird discarding some of the bright, shiny objects so that the nest becomes something lovely in its own right, more than the sum of its parts. And sometimes, a bird that flies clear of the garden’s boundaries to test what lies beyond, for that is where the best monsters live.


Suzanne Willis’s story “A Nightingale’s Map of the City” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 10 February 2017. Subscribe to our e-mail updates so you’ll know when new stories go live.

The Snow Queen’s Daughter – Sean R. Robinson

I extended my hand out the window, reaching as my mother had taught me since I was old enough to understand her words. Palm up, an invitation to the distant skies. The steppe ended in the distance, the horizon shattered by snow-choked mountains. From my window, I could see the clouds roiling white, the azurite sky behind it a challenge. Not a challenge, I reminded myself. I could hear my mother’s voice in my ears.…

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A question for Eric Del Carlo

Q: What’s your favorite story?

A: It may be that, as I read recently, there really is only one story: Things are not as they seem. As for favorite ready-made plots, I honestly do not have one I favor over any other in the sense of plot mechanics or story movement. I am much more drawn to themes, which grow out of characterization. One of my personal maxims is that what happens in a story can never be more engaging than the people it happens to. Without characters who elicit emotion, a story is artless. It becomes a scholastic exercise. A writer will know this when her or his work is greeted with this soul-shriveling comment: ‘Your story was really clever.’ That indicates a tale that is a literary mousetrap, a ba-da-bum of words leading (rather than inviting) the reader toward a prefab conclusion. The reader has to care. I vastly prefer sympathetic characters to tell my stories, though some successful writers manage with sets of players who elicit no empathy whatsoever. (I don’t care for this sort of work.)

As far as themes, my favorite is probably personal redemption. A Christmas Carol wasn’t about three ghosts hounding an old man; it was about a miser’s spiritual reclamation. I also like, in this mode of personal redemption, to tell the big story through a small lens. I often put relatively insignificant characters (as far as their place in my imagined society or future) in the foreground and have them fight their little battles, while commenting on something much bigger–i.e., a character resists some oppressive aspect of a futuristic society, making the struggle immediate and desperate, rather than broad and epic. In my stories an evil empire might crumble, but you’ll find out about it through a guy trying to put together the money to cover next month’s rent.


Eric Del Carlo’s story “Halfsies” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 3 February 2017. Subscribe to our e-mail updates so you’ll know when new stories go live.

About Suzanne J. Willis

Suzanne is a Melbourne, Australia-based lawyer and writer. Her spare moments are spent with stories and music. There is a garden outside her little library that was built in the hope that the stories and the greenery might coax the faeries to make a home there. Her tales are inspired by fairytales, ghost stories and all things strange, but her favourite time is spent chilling out at home with her patient partner and pampered pooch.

Suzanne can be found online at suzannejwillis.webs.com


Suzanne Willis’s story “A Nightingale’s Map of the City” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 10 February 2017. Subscribe to our e-mail updates so you’ll know when new stories go live.