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: Nick Bouchard, author of “Stone’s Blood”
Q: What inspired your story?
A: Stone’s Blood wasn’t so much inspired as it was inspiration. It arrived almost fully formed, in an instant, while I doomscrolled on the couch. I grabbed the laptop and had the rare and magical experience of writing the whole thing in a sitting.
Q: Do you ever see yourself revisiting the topic or theme of your story?
A: I’m a never say never person but it’s unlikely I will return to Vixen in the future. Stone’s Blood story doesn’t leave much unsaid. It’s one of the tidier things I’ve made. But! Just reading this question has me wondering what else could be done here.
Q: What would you like readers to take away from your story?
A: I love this question because the reader I write for is young me. I like to imagine someone discovering weird and surprising speculative short fiction and deciding – like I did – they want to make something weird or gross or spooky.
Q: If your own mother could read this story, would you send it to her? Why or why not?
A: My mother is one of my biggest supporters. She’ll probably buy a copy of the anthology. I always hesitate to have my mother read my work because it’s all always too dark or too crass for her. She usually says no more than it was weird or it was scary.
Q: Why did you decide to submit to this anthology? Was there something particular that called to you?
A: I received an email from Willow Becker titled ‘I’d love to see a story from you!’ I knew I wasn’t the only recipient but it gave this sense of determination to make something even better this time. I’m still a bit in shock that it worked.
Q: Are there any style/techniques choices you made particular to this submission? How did they help you tell the story?
A: Stone’s Blood is the first story I’ve written **entirely** in second person. I like how it provides a strange (unique?) intimacy with the non-human main character. In the first draft, it wasn’t a choice. It was simply how Vixen and her story came to me. In subsequent drafts, I chose not to change the POV, even though my editor(aka wife/partner in crime) wasn’t sold on it. As we eliminated passive voice, she came around to like the 2p narration and I really fell in love with this story. I think the choice to keep the 2p voice prevents the story from falling victim to being hokey/gimmicky.
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