Issue 035 Author Interview: Izzy Varju and “Dragon Fruit”

Today, meet our Issue 035 author Izzy Varju as she discusses her short story “Dragon Fruit.”

LSQ: Let’s talk about the star of the story, the adorable but deadly Mutsu. How did you come up with him?
Izzy: A few years ago I saw a series of digital paintings with fruit-inspired dragons by Alexandra Khitrova ( and absolutely loved the designs for them. A while later, I got bored during a long class and started thinking about what kinds of things tiny dragons could do; cyanide poisoning and having an apple dragon to go with it was what came to mind. The story went through a few iterations, but the main element was always Mutsu and his part to play in the fight. Mutsu’s also named after a type of Japanese apple that inspired his pale green scales in the story.
LSQ: This story hints at a rich background. Have you written about Luisella and Knitty’s past adventures? If not, do you plan to?
Izzy: This was the first time I wrote about Luisella and Knitty; starting their narrative when they’re already in a relationship was half the fun since it let me get to their dynamic without having to worry about how they got there. But I would like to write about the circumstances of how they first met and how they decided that they would put their pirating lives before their love in the beginning. I suppose that’s a common theme in the things I end up writing–the middle comes first and then I get curious about how it all starts and ends from there.
LSQ: Alternatively, do you have plans to continue their story? Will we be meeting the dastardly Zara again?
Izzy: I haven’t thought about continuing the story yet, maybe after their past is more fleshed out it would be possible to see what comes next. One thing’s for sure–Zara would come back and cause a hell of a lot of trouble for Luisella and Knitty, who will also have a few more tricks up their ruffled sleeves.
LSQ: What is your favorite thing about pirates?
Izzy: My favorite thing about pirates is that they’re essentially thieves on water. It’s a combination of all the daring escapes and sneaky schemes with the fun of sailing; I mostly just love thieves in any setting.