R. Leigh Hennig gathered many of the amazing authors from Mother: Tales of Love and Terror for a council at the roundtable about writing, mothers, and horror. Join us as we pop in for a brief spotlight on how the stories of Mother, and their makers, worked their horrible magic to create this book.
Author Spotlight: Mercedes M. Yardley, author of “Fracture”
Q: What inspired your story?
A: A good mother wants to protect her child, but that isn’t always possible. I was inspired by the idea of a mother who holds so tightly that her child literally and metaphorically fractures. I wanted to explore that push/pull between keeping a fragile child safe vs. smothering it. At the same time, “Fracture” is intimately personal. I have a sweet son with cognitive disabilities as well as a heart problem, and I think I was writing out my own angst. The story is both very fanciful and on-the-nose at the same time.
Q: Do you ever see yourself revisiting the topic or theme or your story?
A: A teacher told me once to examine your work and see what themes keep resurfacing. The ocean, glass, and generational trauma keep showing up, so I’m certain I’ll revisit them again in the future. They’re such lovely things to work with.
Q: Have you explored these themes before, and if so, to what depth?
JLD: Miscarriages crop up a lot in my fiction, probably because I survived one. I was originally going to be a triplet, but my other two siblings miscarried. I don’t like thinking about it, but I apparently love writing about it.
Mercedes: That’s so interesting, JLD. I was carrying triplets and only one of them survived. My daughter seems to feel overwhelmingly lonely and like she has to live for the other two. Funny that we’re on opposite ends of such a unique story.
Q: If your own mother could read this story, would you send it to her? Why or why not?
A: Oh no. No, because the story is sad. It’s ultimately triumphant, but still sad. My mother is quite sensitive and doesn’t read most of my work. I tease her about it because she’s a librarian and she should have the stomach for these things, but she doesn’t. I also think she would read too much into it. Is she the mother? Did she cause damage? Am I trying to say something to her? We work best when I tell her I’m publishing something, she says, “Congratulations!” and then we never discuss it again.
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