How’s your day going, dear readers? Are you ready for your weekly dose of Issue 042 author interviews? Today we’re satisfying your craving with Aimée Jodoin’s insightful answers to our questions about her story “The Glitch.”
LSQ: The concept of Rehabilitation is fascinating, as a sort of a time slavery. How did you come up with the idea?
Aimée: I adore time travel stories; they are to me a test of creativity and skill, plus they’re just entertaining. We often hear stories about people using time travel to change the past, but I am more interested in self-fulfilling prophecies, stories where people know that time cannot be changed and that they must make terrible sacrifices to maintain a time stream in which they are the victims in a power structure. While it doesn’t seem like it on a day-to-day basis, that’s the situation we are in: stuck in a time stream heading at the same pace in one direction with no way to change it. I look at that as a beautiful thing in my personal life, but in stories it’s more interesting to show the dark side of that. I knew I wanted the time traveling in the story to be involuntary, like the time structure is in our lives; unfortunately, people in private prisons today are essentially treated like slaves, and I believe it wouldn’t be far fetched, if people from the future needed laborers, for prisons to send convicts in this way. That’s the sad, brutal truth of the current system. In terms of the content of the story itself, like many writers I took an image from a dream I had. Cliche, I know. I don’t believe in any of that dreams-tell-you-things business; it was just an intriguing image of a person walking through a sort-of door frame that I knew in the dream to be a time travel device, and the person losing an arm, which was left behind in the future. I wish I had a better origin story than a dream, but sometimes that’s just how it goes. It’s what you do with the dream, how you develop the idea, that makes the story what it is.
LSQ: The moral implications of the main character’s planned glitch are complicated. What do you think is the main factor that drives her to make that decision?
Aimée: Ultimately, she wants her husband back, and she’ll do anything to save him from the clutches of Rehabilitation. She disregards the fact that she’s risking hurting someone else in causing a glitch, and she ignores the fact that trying to save him and only him instead of attempting to dismantle the whole system is morally questionable. Would it be more effective in the long-run to expose the wrongdoings of Rehabilitation to the public and try to shut it down? Of course. But it’s hard for people in those types of situations to step back and look at the big picture when they’re so emotionally involved in the details.
LSQ: Your ending is somewhat ambiguous, but also terrifying in its implications. No matter what the outcome, something bad has happened. But also maybe something good. Did leaving it open ended heighten the sacrifice and risk?
Aimée: Yes, that was my goal: heighten the sacrifice and risk. I enjoy open endings because they leave questions and make you think, so long as they fulfill the purpose of the story and don’t leave you frustrated. I think “The Glitch” shows that people are willing to risk their lives and livelihoods when they’re in a horrible situation, and I don’t think it was necessary to show what happened to Michael in order to do that. I know what happens next in the story in my head, and if I added that to this story, it would be another one hundred pages rather than one or two to bring closure to this tale.
LSQ: What about your story did you find to be the most interesting to write?
Aimée: From the start, the voice of the story was the hardest to get down. The main character is no-nonsense, doesn’t care about the details, just wants to get to the point. So that consistency of sharp language was difficult but fun to write. Content-wise, it was the minutiae of the time travel that was most interesting to me. I want to write a million different time travel stories that have different methodologies, different moral implications, different characters driving the action. There are so many ways to write a time travel story. I never get sick of reading them!
LSQ: Do you have anything else you are working on at the moment? Or do you have future plans?
Aimée: I was working on a novel about a pandemic, but I’m taking a break from that for now considering our current situation. I have a few short stories in the works and a handful of novel ideas that may come to fruition at some point in the future. I have played around with continuing “The Glitch” from where it left off and turning it into a novel-length story; it’s an exciting but intimidating prospect!