Luna Station Quarterly is a speculative fiction magazine featuring stories by emerging women authors.
Now in our 9th year!

LSQ Monthly News Flash: January 2019

by Anna O’Brien


Dearest readers! Happy New Year! We have loads of surprises up our sleeves throughout this entire year, so stay tuned for the latest news with our monthly news flash and our social media feed (@lunaquarterly). Here’s the 4-1-1 for this month.

  • We are currently open for submissions of speculative fiction short stories until February 15. Check out our guidelines here.
  • Our latest issue (and first ever themed issue: crones!) — Issue 036 — is out now and fantastic. Go check it out. Issue 037 will be published March 1.
  • Don’t forget to celebrate Hedy Lamarr‘s birthday on January 19.
  • And to save the biggest news for last: Luna Station Quarterly has entered our tenth year of publication. We could not be more excited and proud of the decade of stories by women authors that have passed through our pages. That said, in celebration, we have several things planned for this year, one of which is a re-design of this very blog . . . coming soon. Stay tuned, dear readers, and thank you from the bottom of our lunar hearts for all the love and support you’ve given our little publication.

Weekly Wrap-Up: Week of December 31, 2018

by Anna O’Brien


Happy new year, dear readers! Hope you all were able to enjoy the holiday season in your own special way. Here’s what the blog has been up to this week.

  • On Monday, we laid low and plotted our end of the year celebrations;
  • On Tuesday, the blog team had a day of rest to enjoy the first day of the newly minted year and recover from said celebrations;
  • On Wednesday, blogger Tracy Townsend introduced us to the usefulness of creating a world bible as we craft our longer pieces of fiction;
  • On Thursday, LSQ’s ed-in-chief Jennifer Lyn Parsons had some thoughts on those required reading lists we get in school;
  • On Friday, we chatted with LSQ alum author (from Issue 008!) Lauren C. Teffeau about her new novel, Implanted.

LSQ Author Re-Boot: Visiting with Lauren C. Teffeau

by Anna O’Brien


Hello fellow Luna Station dwellers! We love our authors and along with hugs via the internet, we like to know what they’ve been up to since their varied appearances in our Quarterly pages. That said, we recently caught up with an Issue 008 author, Lauren C. Teffeau. Lauren has recently published her first novel, Implanted, with Angry Robot and we were excited to catch up with her to see how things were going.

LSQ: Given you’ve been publishing short fiction since about 2011, how long has this novel been in the works? When and how did you decide to try your hand at the longer form?

Lauren: In my mind, I’ve always been a novelist first, even though I racked up over a dozen short story credits well before Implanted came out. But it can take a long time to break-in, as it did for me, and so I wrote short stories on the side and in between projects. From drafting to revising to soliciting feedback (and that’s before we get to the publication process), everything takes longer when you are dealing with novels, and sometimes the relatively instant gratification from writing a short story and having it published can be a good way to stay motivated.

While I’d say I wrote Implanted off and on over roughly a two-year period, that doesn’t include the time I spent before that thinking about the story world or the time I was on submission. From the first draft of the book to holding it in my hands, the process took maybe three-and-half years. From the first kernel of an idea? Maybe closer to ten.

LSQ: Were there notable differences in your writing habits between writing the novel and your shorter pieces? Do you prefer one length over the other? In what ways did you find the novel easier and harder than writing a short story?

Lauren: I’m more comfortable writing longer stories, and even when I do write short, too often my beta readers come back with the oh-so-helpful advice that my shorter works should be novels instead. Short stories are technically quicker to write and revise and submit, but that’s assuming the author knows what kind of story they are working on. And that’s the piece I struggle with the most—what elements to include, what to leave out.

That said, I’ve learned a ton from writing short stories, from craft and voice, sorting through feedback, and what makes for a good contract. The short stories I’ve had published have tended to either be the result of an intriguing story prompt or an exploration of novel concepts and/or subplots, using the shorter form as a proof of concept. So it’s not that I don’t enjoy writing short stories, but I often write them in service of a larger project I have in the works.

LSQ: Are you a pantser or a planner–meaning, did you outline your novel before you sat down to write it or did you craft it by the seat of your pants?

Lauren: I skew planner on the pantser-plotter continuum, though how strict I am depends on the project. I want to ensure that even when I have the entire story worked out in my head there is some space for the unexpected, for the story elements to breathe, and in some instances surprise me.

LSQ: Where did the inspiration for your novel come from? Can you name some authors who have heavily influenced your writing, both for short stories and for this novel?

Lauren: At some point I was describing Implanted thusly: Take Johnny Mnemonic, add a dash of Person of Interest, mix with Logan’s Run, and wrap it all up in a Blade Runner-meets-solarpunk aesthetic.

But really, I simply wanted to write a cyberpunk story with a soul. Or as much of one as the subgenre allows, given the overt capitalism and classism that also comes bundled up with it. I wanted to take the cinematic stylings and eyeball kicks and cool tech and remove the misogyny and exoticism. I wanted to show a way to navigate the coming climate apocalypse in a hopeful manner. I also wanted to really explicate the impact connectivity has had on communication and all the various ways that trickles down into every facet of society. Which modes of communication (frex. implant fostered communication versus spoken word) are used in which scenarios, for what purpose, and how does that change when people are in group situations or one-on-one? How does that change for platonic contacts versus intimate ones? And so on.

LSQ: Can you describe your local writing community and how it has helped you develop as a writer?

Lauren: Local writing groups have been extremely formative to me as a writer. It helps to have a regular schedule, people you are accountable to, and experiences and expertise outside your own to draw from. Regularly critiquing other people’s work and receiving it on your own work also helps hone your craft. I’ve been a member of a group in some shape or form since I started taking my writing seriously. It can be hard to find a group that sticks, members who are all committed to the same thing, and are writing at a level that’s well beyond the basics, but when all those things come together, great things happen.

I’m very fortunate that Critical Mass in New Mexico is one of those groups. Walter Jon Williams was my instructor at Taos Toolbox, a two-week master class on writing science fiction and fantasy. Afterwards, he endorsed my entry into Critical Mass, which has had a rotating group of pro-level writers critting together for well over a decade at this point (maybe approaching two). There’s a wealth of talent in the group, not only craftwise, but in terms of publication experience as well.

I workshopped Implanted in that environment and benefited tremendously from the feedback I got from the group.

LSQ: Do you identify in any way with your protag, Emery? If so, how? Please give us a brief intro into Emery’s character–who she is and why she does the things she does. What are her flaws? What are her strengths? What was enjoyable about creating her? What was challenging? 

Lauren: Emery is a young woman who’s blackmailed into working as a courier for a shadowy organization, and Implanted follows what happens when the life she was forced to leave behind comes back to haunt her after she’s left holding the bag on a job gone wrong. Action and adventure abound, along with high-tech gadgets, light espionage, romance, and hard questions about the future.

When the book opens, she has just graduated from the prestigious College of New Worth and is debating whether she wants to meet one of her close friends in person for the first time after years of synching via their neural implants, which allow for the near-instantaneous exchange of thought-text. (Hello, cyberpunk!) But after growing up in the Terrestrial District, Emery’s slow to trust, even though they have so many things in common, including a love for the city’s Arcades where their implants pair with the latest cutting-edge tech for super-immersive games like the one that introduced them in the first place. She also has a BIG secret she’s been keeping from him, and most everyone else in her life, making her easy prey for the folks wanting to turn her into a courier.

I’d say Emery’s like me in that she’s driven, committed to her friends, loves video games, and always tries to do the right thing, even when it’s hard. Despite our similarities, she was the hardest character to write. She valiantly fought me over the course of successive drafts. Sometimes I had trouble uncovering her motivations or pinning down her voice, but I eventually brought her to heel. I am the author after all ;)

LSQ: Was there any part of the world building for your novel that was difficult? 

Lauren: I try to give a lot of attention to world building in all my stories, struggling to find the right balance between too much and not enough details. You can glean a bit about my process from a Tor Roundtable I was a part of here. But basically I really enjoy this part of writing, so for me it’s not necessarily what’s difficult so much as what takes longer to come together. Especially Implanted, which was built in bits and pieces over the years. I researched art nouveau and sustainability practices to get a better handle on the architecture of my domed city. I took a look at cybersecurity practices. I also included a lot of world building assumptions that can be mapped back to my social science background in information science, data curation, and mass communication as a graduate student and later on as a university researcher. The hardest part was getting the details of hemocryption right because that was the point where I had to call in reinforcements. Kelly Lagor, one of my critique buddies who has a background in biology, helped me to design a process for encoding blood cells with the data Emery’s responsible for transporting.

LSQ: Can you briefly describe your journey in getting an agent? And how was the road between getting an agent and getting a book deal?

Lauren: I first got an agent in fall of 2014. I had been writing novels with an eye toward publication for a couple years and had unsuccessfully queried two novels prior to that. But things came together this time. Unfortunately that project didn’t sell after about a year on submission. By then I had started writing Implanted since you should always be working on the next project. I had my first child in early 2016, and writing while pregnant and writing while being a new mom slowed down my progress a bit, but it all worked out in the end.

LSQ: Any tips for writers working on their own novels?

Lauren: Finish your shit. And it will feel like shit. It will feel like you’re a fool for wanting to write and for wanting to share your stories with the world. But you have to push through all that to get to THE END. Then, take a break. When you return to your project, you’ll discover that maybe it isn’t as bad as you thought it was. Or that you are in a better position to see the story’s flaws and how to fix them. Either way, you cannot submit something that is incomplete. And it is only once a draft is complete that you can get a full sense for how to revise. If nothing else, remember there are no shortcuts and try to enjoy the journey along the way.

LSQ: Plans for novel number two? Perhaps a sequel?

Lauren: I’m hard at work on a few sekrit projects, which may or may not include a sequel to Implanted. My website is the best way to stay up-to-date on any news on that front. However, the world is extremely rich and there are definitely different facets to explore. I hope to do that in some fashion one day.


Thoughts on the creaky, old required reading list

by Jennifer Lyn Parsons


Recently, I encountered someone who, with some pride, stated that they had not read a book since grade school. They had skated through middle and high school by reading Sparks or Cliff notes on the required reading. Currently, the only books they own are a few inherited from their grandmother and they’re at a loss as what to do with them, since they “aren’t a reader”.

Weeks later, you can still hear the echoes of my jaw dropping at this revelation.

I wasn’t in a position to argue for reading and books at the time, and I don’t know that I would have gotten far with this person if I had tried anyway. Instead, I brought the story home to my dear ones and there ensued a discussion about required reading lists and what we saw as the root of the problem of keeping kids interested in books.

It would be very easy for me to point out the antiquated notions of canon that are evident in the lists of books high schoolers are required to read. In doing some research for this essay, I ran into many of the same worn titles I read when I was in high school myself. I was pleased to at least see a few newer titles, and a few more diverse books as well, on recent lists. Although I will say that AP students often get the “really good stuff” on their lists, which is a shame and likely doesn’t help anything.

The choice of books is a problem, but I don’t think that’s the root of what’s wrong with how English is taught, at least here in the US. Instead, I offer up this: in trying to teach symbolism and how to read critically, developing a student’s love of reading is neglected and buried.

A love of reading is what can carry a student through a dry text so they can unearth those deep meanings teachers try to reveal to them. But instead of instilling a love of story, we teach them to read critically. From a young person’s point of view, it seems that deep critical analysis and understanding the themes and metaphors of the book is what reading is all about and if they don’t enjoy that then they aren’t readers. “I don’t know what this means” quickly becomes “I don’t care what this means” and then we’ve lost them.

Books can be full of wonder and joy and even just be a blast to read. Popcorn novels count. Novellas count. Pop YA counts. Movie adaptations count. *ahem* fantasy and science fiction count. It all counts. But kids often don’t get to all that good fun stuff because they’re being taught at too young an age that books are dry, dusty things full of metaphors and themes that must be uncovered so you can show that you’re smart.

Here’s a potentially controversial opinion: you don’t have to be “smart” to enjoy reading. You only have to enjoy stories.

“But what about reading critically?” you may ask and to that, and a few other things like “how will they learn grammar and structure”, I say let us split English into two separate classes.

Let’s have a “writing class” where we teach grammar and composition, but also let’s throw in letter writing and resumes and essay writing. Let’s talk about journals and diaries and great speeches. There are skills that can be taught that can help students communicate effectively in the adult world that will come at them fast and hard.

Then we can have a “reading class” where we learn the various forms so we can recognize them, but let’s talk about reading for pleasure and what stories make us feel. Let’s read essays in this class that inspire and give insight. Let this class be more student driven, with a choice of books available so they can find what interests them. Get them reading first and then ask them to start telling you why they liked what they read and what they got out of it.

And can we please please please take weekly trips to the school library in this class? One of the great gaps in my own high school experience was the inaccessibility of the school library. It was never made available except in very small windows of time totaling no more than a few hours in the entire four years I was there.

Okay, before I sign off here I do want to talk a little about the actual required reading books themselves. There is no doubt that To Kill a Mockingbird is important for young people to read. Honestly, I liked that one myself. I also enjoyed Fahrenheit 451, and Brave New World was important and formative. But where I fell in love with Shakespeare, most of my classmates did not. They needed to be eased into it from a different angle, or given some other alternative. Perhaps I would have enjoyed Pride and Prejudice and fallen for Austen’s work sooner if I was handed that instead of The Return of the Native.

For all I can talk about my opinions on this, I know that it’s so much baying into the wind. I have no vote on school curricula or what books are deemed important or how and why certain texts are taught. Still, I hope that one day there will be a change and we, as a society, will determine that reading truly is fundamental, but is also fun and enriching and part of what makes us all part of the same human family.


The Devil in the Details: The Right & Good Virtues of Making A World Bible

by Tracy Townsend


It is truth universally acknowledged that books are long. Even the short ones (from the ants-in-the-grass perspective of an author trying to crawl from chapter one to “the end”) are spindling, winding paths, easy to get lost within, full of details begging to be forgotten, continuities pleading to be turned into snarls of error. Try to solve the problem by stepping back to the Utopian vision of Pure Outline and you may be able to see the lay of the land in a superior perspective to the little lost ant, sure, but then it gets hard to keep track of other things: whose eyes are what color, what date the main character divorced their partner on, whether the ray gun is holstered on the right or left side of Space Corps cadets’ uniforms, and so on. Often, these details aren’t terribly important, but when they are, fumbling for them can take you out of your writing groove. Worse, flubbing them will take your reader out of the text.

The solution for juggling the details of large, complicated worlds sff authors have turned to is the world bible. Though we tend to associate these documents with genre novels, writers working in any lengthy format from a sequence of short stories set in the same world to a single novel or series sharing a world-space can benefit from writing one of these babies. (Is there a favorite fictional Kpop band in the shared universe of charming YA rom-coms you’re writing? Better make sure you remember their back catalog and member names, for your characters’ sake.) Now that we’ve all got some distance from our most recent NaNoWriMo and are perhaps looking down the barrel of revisions, it’s a good time to consider what you can do for yourself and your fiction through the power of a world bible.

The “bible” part of a “world bible” can feel deeply intimidating, especially if you start comparing what you might want for yourself with what others have done. George R.R. Martin’s world of Westeros is so vast, even he can’t remember all of it, relying instead on a Swedish fan with a photographic memory to be his living world bible. Other authors’ legions of fans band together on sites like Wikia to generate exhaustive, deeply spoilery catalogs of everything you need to know about a fandom’s treasured stories. But every book starts off as something only you know about. In its infancy, you’re in command of all its details, all its information. Finding a way to keep it all straight is a gift you can give to your writing process.

Enter world bible creation, an indispensable part of how I write. For reference, the pie chart for how I create a project might look something like this:

 

A somewhat arbitrary graph of the author’s writing process, for demonstration purposes.

 

Yep. I spend more time world bible-ing than I do actually brainstorming, planning, or outlining. I spend almost as much time on it as I spend editing and revising. The world bible for my Thieves of Fate series (when you combine notes from my copy editors and my own notes over time) is just over 40,000 words in length.

But here’s the thing.

You don’t have to do it that way. The function of a world bible is personal and specific. In my case, the world bible’s essential function is to help me develop an understanding of what I’m writing that’s deep enough; none of it has to actually appear on the page.

“Come again?” you say. “None of it’s on the page? Why even do it, then?”

Oh, it’s there. It’s just invisible, if I’m doing my job right.

A well-built story world will feel lived in and organic. It will have its own rules (literal and figurative), its own nuances and grace notes. The less time you have to spend explaining how your world works to your reader (not because they need to know how it works and characters are having an open conversation about it that passes the As You Know, Bob sniff test, but because you need to see the explanation for yourself to make the whole thing hang together) the better. I do that kind of explain-this-to-myself work in the Green Room of the world bible. It’s where the bodies are buried. In my world bible, like the world bibles of other sff writers, you can find:

  • Important historical dates, events, and timelines
  • Information about various races, species, and cultures
  • Geographical information
  • Political information
  • Names of important (often “off-screen”) characters

And so on. But the most precious content of my world bible is the stuff literally no one besides me will ever read. The story of how two characters met and fell in love (even though one of them is long dead at the start of the series). Three different, completely contradictory stories of how a character lost his finger, any of which could be true . . . but only one of them is, and the differences between them are important to understanding why this character lies about the finger in the first place. One character’s entire family tree. A description of a villain based entirely on movie quotes and screen shots from IMDb. Someone’s arrest record (and corresponding jailbreak record). And, of course, hair colors, eye colors, exact heights and weights. Even allergies. It’s all there.

So if none of this (or very close to none of it) is going to be discussed on the page, why write it at all? Why worry about creating continuity between parts of the narrative readers might never even see?

Because it creates continuity in my understanding of the world, its characters, and even its subtexts and themes. It gives me confidence in what I’m crafting, a sense that I can master all its fiddly bits and make them behave as I wish. By itself, that’s not enough to make drafting and revising some smooth and blissful process, but it gives me faith in my thoughtfulness as a creator.

So if you’re considering returning to a project left half-finished, consider the value of making a world bible to jump-start your process. If you’re a Scrivener user, this should be especially easy, given the software’s various clever planning boards and doodads. If, like me, you’re still living in the backwaters of MS Word/Google Docs, a simple list of entries like a homebrew encyclopedia would be fine. (N.B., I also vacation quite happily in AlphaSmart Town and recommend you get yourself one if the internet is as distracting to your galaxy brain as it is to mine.) World bibles work for all genres, of course. If you’re writing a series, they’re indispensable resources for keeping track of Past You in conversation with Present You. They can teach you a lot about what you really care about in your work and help you center that more clearly.

Best of all, they’re fun — or they should be. Your own private world of secrets and subterfuge, to be dispensed as generously or hoarded as greedily as you please.

Being master of a whole creative universe should have some perks, after all.


Welcome to Year 10


Get out those party hats and make sure they’re comfortable because you’ll be wearing them all year. Why, you ask? BECAUSE THIS YEAR WE ARE CELEBRATING OUR TENTH YEAR OF EXISTENCE!!! To celebrate this enormous milestone, we have tricks up our sleeves. But we’re not spilling the beans all at once. Stay tuned for various announcements throughout the year as we’ll be spreading cheer and whatnot over the coming months. We’re trying not to explode from excitement but we’ll nod in empathy if you happen to suddenly burst into bits. It happens to the best of us.


The End is Near. . .


Oh, didn’t scare you, did we? We meant the end of the calendar year. Don’t be so presumptuous! We’ve met new friends, grown, and learned so much this year and ooooooooh baby, have we got some stuff up our sleeves for next year which is our tenth year of publication! For now, today, in this moment, we won’t dwell on resolutions. We’re dwelling instead on stories and writing and how good that makes us feel. With that in mind, have a safe and pleasant New Year’s Eve, dear readers. We’ll catch you on the flip side.


Weekly Wrap-Up: Week of December 24, 2018

by Jen Gheller


Happy holidays, dear readers! Here’s a short and sweet list of our weekly blog activities to wrap up the year:

 

 

  • On Monday, we started the week with another Issue 036 author interview, this time with Anna Catalano about her story “Cry Sanctuary“;
  • On Tuesday, we took the day off to make merry;
  • On Wednesday, D.M. Domosea continued her thought experiment by putting ageism under the microscope;
  • On Thursday, Issue 036 author Regina Higgins graced us with thoughtful words on her story “Wise Woman“;
  • On Friday, Christina “DZA” Marie geared us up for 2019 and her most anticipated movies of the year.

BitchShelf’s Most Anticipated Movies of 2019

by Christina “DZA” Marie


2018 may have sucked in many aspects (socially, politically, emotionally. . . ), but movie-wise it was insane. And 2019 looks like it’s going to be even better. Assembled below are the BitchShelf’s top picks for upcoming movies. All of them have promising female leads, many of them include casts of color, and all of them are fantasy, sci-fi, or horror, because I don’t blow twenty bucks at the theater for anything less than ear-numbing explosion and gut-wrenching terror.

Happy Death Day 2U

Happy Death Day was the amazing horror comedy movie you didn’t see. And you should fix that. It’s basically Groundhog Day done as a slasher fic (live, die, repeat, etc.). It’s creepy, it’s hilarious, it’s adorable. . . and now there’s going to be a sequel. Yay!

Captain Marvel

DC beat Marvel to the punch with the solo female superhero movie with Wonder Woman. But, let’s face it, guys. Marvel’s just better. Has been since the end of the Dark Knight trilogy.

If the group Avengers movies were any less of a sausage fest, Endgame would have made the list, too. One can only hope that, after Captain Marvel takes the box office by storm in March, we’ll get to see her kick a wrinkled purple space raisin’s ass in April.

Aladdin

People have mixed feelings about Disney reboots. For me, it depends on how well the reboot is done. I don’t care if it’s a remake, I just want to see a good film. And Disney has been really pushing for more diversity and less white-washing in their movies, while simultaneously sassing the tropes they established themselves! (See: “You got engaged to someone you just met that day?”)

This one makes the list not only because of the long list of people of color on here, but because of Jasmine. She always was one of my favorite Disney princesses, and I don’t get the hate for her. She’s smart, she’s assertive, she has no problem telling the male authorities in her life what they should or should not do. I don’t even mind that she gets damseled (that is, becomes a damsel in distress) because she’s not passive or stupid about it. And anyone who has the stomach to persuasively seduce someone as heinous as Jafar deserves mountains of respect in my book.

Lion King

Beyonce is voicing Nala. BEYONCE IS VOICING NALA. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.

The New Mutants

It’s so hard to find a team superhero movie with more than just one woman on the team. It took the Avengers years just to get their number up to two, and both Black Widow and Scarlet Witch’s narrative arcs are romantic subplots. (Blech.) But hopefully these teenagers will be a lot more concerned with not being murdered in a creepy mutant prison than with worrying about who’s going to bang who.

Also, whoever cast Maisie Williams (a.k.a. Arya Stark from Game of Thrones) as Wolfsbane deserves a goddamn raise.

Star Wars Episode IX

I do not understand the hate for these movies. Just . . . the misogyny of broflakes who don’t like seeing people of color or powerful women on screen is mind-boggling to me. This latest trilogy has been amazing! A true homage to the Star Wars franchise. And I cannot wait until December 2019.


Issue 036 Author Interview: Regina Higgins and “Wise Woman”

by Jen Gheller


Tired of Issue 036 yet? Neither are we! Here’s another interview with one of our lovely authors, Regina Higgins, about her story “Wise Woman.” Be sure to give it a read before moving on to the Q&A.

LSQ: Let’s start with the obvious: Mildred is awesome! What was your inspiration behind her character? 
Regina: I love Mildred, too! She’s every older woman in our lives who’s incredibly gifted and generous with those gifts. We all know them, don’t we?
LSQ: The trial scene holds tension, as it could lead to Mildred’s demise, but there’s also an element of humor brought by the young Councilman that makes it seem a bit farcical. What were your thoughts when writing this scene? 
Regina: I thought there’s always someone—no matter what the situation—who thinks it’s all about him. And it’s usually “him.”  Head-smacking stupid. But, invariably, it becomes part of whatever’s happening.
LSQ: The story opens in first person perspective, but switches to third person for the rest of the story. Is there a perspective you prefer, or one you find has particular benefits over the other?  
Regina: I love including many perspectives in a story. All perspectives have particular benefits, and switching from one to another enriches a story. I love reading stories with different perspectives. Kate Atkinson (Life After Life) is a genius at multiple perspectives. She’s one of my favorite writers.
LSQ: The setting seems to be a women-focused world, yet Agnes easily betrays Mildred. Do you think the world of this story, and our own world, can ever truly achieve solidarity among women? 
Regina: The setting is a very small woman-focused community in a man-focused world. We’ve got plenty of those communities. And none is perfect, because people aren’t perfect. I wouldn’t say Agnes “easily” betrays Mildred.  Agnes—and everyone else—has known for a long time that she’s far below Mildred in magical abilities. I imagine this is a continual gall to Agnes. And then when Agnes thinks she sees evidence of Mildred cheating, it’s too much for her.  She makes her accusation. But when Agnes is convinced she’s been mistaken, she withdraws the charge of cheating, and she’s contrite. Still, it didn’t have to be this way. If Agnes had asked Mildred for help with her magic, Mildred, being Mildred, would have supported and taught her beautifully. But Agnes doesn’t ask for help. She just stews by herself and bubbles over with spite. So the potential for solidarity is there, but Agnes can’t reach out and be part of it. Maybe her experience of the trial will change her for the better.
LSQ: Are you working on anything else at the moment? If so, can you tell us a bit about your other projects?
Regina: I’m working on a novel featuring a young woman in the American West in the late nineteenth century. She’s so tough, Billy the Kid is her side-kick.