Issue 044 Author Interview: Natasha Grodzinski and “The Harvest-Bringers”

Happy Tuesday, dear readers, and welcome back to the Luna Station Circus! Our Issue 044 authors have been gracious enough to answer our burning questions about their fabulous stories. Today we’re featuring Natasha Grodzinski’s “The Harvest-Bringers“.

LSQ: This is a beautifully crafted setting and a fascinating interpretation of “circus.” What inspired you to write about the theme in this way?
Natasha: I know the historical idea of the “circus” is not without its issues, but there’s something about the glamour and mystique of it that has always appealed to me, particularly where it can overlap with speculative fiction. So when I saw the category for this issue, I knew I wanted to send something in. I initially was going to submit another story I had already written, but it was late summer when I saw the open call, and I was inspired to write something a little warmer, a little more optimistic than what I already had. The concept for this story then came from an amalgamation of a few conversations I’ve had with my mother about Germany, about forests and fairytales. It came in a rather roundabout way, but the story was more or less created from the question: why don’t I create my own fairytale that centers around some kind of circus?
LSQ: I love how Thea begins the story bright and bold and full of adventure, and then once her adventure is underway, she pulls back. It’s so perfectly childlike. Is Thea’s character based on anyone in particular?
Natasha: The entire story is heavily influenced by my mother. It was through her that I was first introduced to the concept of the Weldmeister, as that was the occupation her father was headed toward when he was a boy. She’s also the one who first introduced me to the simple wonder of walking through the woods – something that I’ve adored since I was very, very young. In that way, I think Thea is based off of both of us. I still go wandering in the woods all the time, even now, and I still hope to stumble across something inexplicable. I’ve never let go of that.
LSQ: The ending feels like the perfect opportunity for a second chance at adventure for Thea. I like to imagine her running away with the “performers” this time around. The richness of the world and descriptions are so lovely—do you have any plans to revisit this story, or these characters?
Natasha: As of right now, this story will only continue to live on in my head. But Thea is not the type of person to miss the same opportunity twice. I’m sure, that if Thea were to come off of the page and tell me what she’s been up to since I finished writing her, she would tell me all about dancing across forest floors and watching the seasons change from the center of it all.

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