A question for Meryl Stenhouse

Q: What distracts you?

A: Oh, pretty much everything. I have to be very disciplined with myself to get anything done. At the moment I’m looking out the window of my study and noticing that the ginger needs cutting back and the front bed needs weeding. Or I’ll be in the dreaded middles of my current story is and I’ll get a New Shiny Idea and I’ll quickly jot down some notes and then find I’ve written several pages of draft. Or I’ll walk past the bookshelf and something will catch my eye and half an hour later I’ll have moved on to cleaning out the cupboards and will have completely forgotten what I’m supposed to be doing. What works best for me is an empty room and a locked door, and an endless supply of good tea.


Meryl Stenhouse’s story “Gathering Dust” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 29 April 2016. Subscribe to our e-mail updates so you’ll know when new stories go live.

A question for L. Chan

Q: What prompted you to write this particular story?

A: The idea for Whalesong popped into my head one day, probably when two random factoids muddled around in my brain and bumped into each other. The first was the 52-hertz whale, dubbed the loneliest whale in the world because it sings in a different frequency to other whales of its species (this is still up for debate). The other was the cleanup of the great garbage patches around the world’s oceans. The sentence that popped into my head was the 52-hertz whale is the hero, and the rest grew from there.


L. Chan’s story “Whalesong” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 15 April 2016. Subscribe to our e-mail updates so you’ll know when new stories go live.

A question for Tony Clavelli

Q: Do you ever feel bad for what you put your characters through?

A: I sometimes feel awful for what happens to my characters, but I don’t feel responsible. I like to think of their trajectories as inevitable. However, I’ll occasionally stay up late at night trying to think of ways to unhurt people who don’t exist. I think if I don’t feel bad, then I didn’t write the character well enough.


Tony Clavelli’s story “The Sound Barrier” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 8 April 2016. Subscribe to our e-mail updates so you’ll know when new stories go live.

A question for Kaitlin McCloughan

Q: Do you generally start with mood, title, character, concept, …?

A: My best stories start with a character.

At any given time I have several ideas floating around in my mind for settings, concepts, or even opening lines, but it isn’t until I attach a character to one of those ideas that the story begins to form. The rest of the story takes shape based on the character—what they desire, what they have to overcome, and so on.

I certainly never start with a title. Titles are the worst!


Kaitlin McCloughan’s story “The Flight Home” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 1 April 2016. Subscribe to our e-mail updates so you’ll know when new stories go live.

A question for Jack Noble

Q: What book or books inspired you as a child?

A: Like many people, my childhood was practically made of books. Something that stands out as especially captivating is the Narnia series by C.S. Lewis. Images from those books are seared into my mind. Even today, certain sights regularly transport me back to that world: Turkish delight, lampposts in the snow, paintings of ships, and, of course, wardrobes.


Jack Noble’s story “Spoiler: She Leaves Him” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 25 March 2016. Subscribe to our e-mail updates so you’ll know when new stories go live.