Issue 043 Author Interview: Morgan MacVaugh and “Yolk”

Welcome back to our blog, dear readers, where each week we sit down with one of our Issue 043 authors to chat about their stories, their writing tips, their inspiration, and whatever else comes to mind! Today’s subjects are Morgan MacVaugh and her story “Yolk.”

LSQ: This story is such a beautiful and original little myth, I adored reading it. It left me with a smile on my face. Where did the idea for this begin? Did you draw inspiration from any particular mythology?

Morgan: Aw, thank you so much! Believe it or not, the idea for “Yolk” came about from wanting to break the rules. I wrote this last summer, after graduating with my undergrad in creative writing. After learning the tricks of the trade and reading Important High Literary Literature (TM) for four years, I was desperate to circle back to the types of stories that made me want to start writing in the first place. “Yolk” was born out of me searching for myself again, and I think I’m a little closer to finding her now that it exists.

LSQ: There’s a real sense of tradition and lore with this story, and yet no names. What made you decide to leave the man and the girl anonymous?

Morgan: The girl and the man are anonymous as a nod to the old folklore anthologies I read as a kid. Not the ones that had Cinderella and Red Riding Hood in it, but the ones that had barely cracked spines and were beneath six inches of dust in my old elementary school library. Also, I feel like names are a powerful thing; when a character gets a name they suddenly stand for and become something particular. A person, I suppose, in their own right. Part of the magic of those old folk tales for me was the fact that nameless characters meant they stood for everyone, not just themselves.

LSQ: At first I felt like it was going to read as something ancient, and then there was a girl plugging a toaster into a star. How did you decide on the time setting for this story?

Morgan: I wish I could tell you something poetic about the toaster–or the time setting, for that matter. Like, if I was smart, I’d say it was another device to make this piece a little more of an everyone story. Timeless. Relatable. Modern and ancient all wrapped up together in a blanket. In actuality, it was more so like I was writing this story at 1:23 in the morning and the girl whispered in my ear, “Okay, but there’s a toaster too.”

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