About Setsu Uzumé

Setsu Uzume is the host and assistant editor at PodCastle, and they are a member of Codex and SFWA. Setsu writes and occasionally narrates dark fantasy. They are taking a break from sword work to study horseback archery. While they have dabbled in many arts, only writing and martial arts seem to have stuck.

katanapen.wordpress.com, @KatanaPen

Setsu Uzumé’s story “Snapped Dry, Scraped Clean”
in Metaphorosis Friday, 25 January 2019.
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A question for Alyssa N. Vaughn

Q: Duckbilled platypus – result of divine distraction, or alternate universe crossover?

A: So the platypus belongs to the mammalian subclass Prototheria, which sounds like a kingdom from World of Warcraft and most of the animals that belong to that group are extinct. It’s pretty much the platypus and the echidna, and both of them are weird as crap. Did you know that the echidna doesn’t have nipples? It has milk patches on its skin instead. So does the platypus. And the platypus is one of the only venomous mammals. It only produces its venom during the platypus mating season. What the heck.

Honestly, my favorite thing about the platypus is that it is one of several species that have hypothetically stopped evolving. They said “yup, being a venomous beaver-duck is totally working for me, y’all go on ahead” and that’s how we got platypi. They are nature’s old man, grumbling about these species today, with their placentas and their nipples and their non-beak-faces and their no-venom-producing-claws. The platypus wants you to stop trying to explain Snapchat to it and go outside once in a while, for goodness sake.

I may be a platypus.

I’m really stuck on the subclass though. “Your quest will take you to Prototheria, therein you must seek the strange creature of venomous claw and hideous beak, very nearly the last of its kind…”

Alyssa N. Vaughn’s story “Five Star Review”
in Metaphorosis Friday, 11 January 2019.
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A question for Amelia Dee Mueller

Q: How do pets/children/significant others help/hinder your process?

A: I keep the part of me that’s a writer a bit secluded from my family and friends, and they don’t really hear from that part unless I have a piece that’s done and ready to be torn apart by the real world. By then I’ve built some armor around the work and can take any comments they might have, good or bad. If I let people whose opinions I highly value see a piece before it’s ready, I wouldn’t be able to take any of their criticism, no matter how constructive. Strangers’ comments, however, I can take all day long and feel very little personal affiliation and see the room for improvement their negative feedback can bring. I think this comes from my journalism degree, because I didn’t have a choice as an undergrad but to let strangers eat up my words and spit them out again. I personally found that my journalism instructors were tougher than the creative writing teachers I worked under for my minor, but they all made me a better writer in the end.

The only thing that might hinder the creative writer in me is my day job, which I love, but it’s hard to sit down in the evening to write and mentally switch from the kind of writing I do for work to the kind of writing I do for me.

But my cat generally lets me work in peace, because if I’m writing it means I’m not forcing her to cuddle with me. She, similar to lots of great writers, needs her space.

Amelia Dee Mueller’s story “The Lightkeeper’s Wife
in Metaphorosis Friday, 1 February 2019.
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About Helen French

Helen French is a writer, book hoarder, TV-soaker-upper, digital project executive and biased parent who grew up in Merseyside and now lives in Hertfordshire, UK. You can find her on Twitter at @helenfrench.

Helen French’s story “Two Villains, a Notebook, and a Lump of Coal”
in Metaphorosis Friday, 18 January 2019.
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A question for M.J. Gardner

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

A: If my writing were a bird, it would be (free-range) chicken. Chicken is a versatile food. You can smother it in slipstream, steam it with some Lovecraft, spice it up with horror and serve it with a side of suspense. You can use part or all of the chicken in dishes like BBQ short stories, novellas stuffed with cheese and mushrooms for a dinner party, or roast a whole novel for a more filling meal. No matter how you cook it, my writing is a good source of protein.

M.J. Gardner’s story “The Book of Regrets”
in Metaphorosis Friday, 4 January 2019.
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About Alyssa N. Vaughn

Alyssa N. Vaughn was born and raised somewhere between Dallas and Fort-Worth, Texas, and she now lives very very near the house where she grew up, with her husband, children, and dogs, only very narrowly missing an “Everybody Loves Raymond” situation. She has been a public radio employee, a software developer, a high school teacher, and an assistant director at a computer camp. She was a writer before, during, after, and about each of these professions.

blog.anvaughn.com, @msalyssaenvy

Alyssa N. Vaughn’s story “Five Star Review”
in Metaphorosis Friday, 11 January 2019.
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