Meryl Stenhouse lives in subtropical Queensland where she curates an extensive notebook collection and fights a running battle with the Lego models trying to take over the house.
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.
James Ross is an Englishman living North of the Wall in Edinburgh, where he writes whimsical fiction, and (occasionally) performs poetry.
James Ross’s story “Murder on the Adriana” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 22 April 2016. Subscribe to our e-mail updates so you’ll know when new stories go live.
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.
L Chan vacillates between studying for a post-graduate degree in London, writing all manner of speculative fiction and making up funny comments about cats on the Internet. He has been accused of being a self-aware meme-propagating bot. In the rest of his free time, he wanders the streets of London looking for the perfect cup of coffee.
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!