Tuesday again? No problem. Our interview with Issue 042 author EJ Sidle on her story “Minor Mortalities” is sure to get you through the day.
LSQ: Your story starts with quite the reader-grabbing line. Where did the idea for a necromancer-hitman come from?
EJ: The answer isn’t as exciting as you might be thinking! The idea for the whole story was sparked by a Springsteen song (“Atlantic City,” if anyone is curious!). The necromancer angle felt like a natural progression as it all came together; I liked the idea of a hitman who could just keep bringing his victims back. Plus, I’d been researching necromancy for an unrelated project, so I think it was just on my mind!
LSQ: We only see Theo and Alec in this story, but there’s major groundwork for a whole magical world here, especially with that cliffhanger of an ending. Have you written anything else set in this world, or do you plan to?
EJ: I’m really good at making plans to write more within a world, or to turn a flash piece into something longer, but I’m far less good at following through! I certainly enjoyed writing “Minor Mortalities”, and I think there’s more of Theo and Alec’s story to tell. I suppose that means I have vague plans to carry on, but no real idea of what those plans will actually be!
LSQ: What was the most enjoyable part about writing this story? The most challenging?
EJ: My favorite part of starting a new piece is always the characters. It’s exciting to have a new dynamic to explore, and I always end up having an idea of who I’m writing about before I get to the actual plot!
Most challenging was probably keeping the piece flash-sized. I wanted to make sure that the interaction between Alec and Theo came together in a way that felt plausible, but at the same time it needed to be succinct enough to allow the piece to keep moving forward without turning into a novel! It worked out in the end, but not without some heavy lifting on behalf of my amazing beta team!
LSQ: Who and what are your major sources of inspiration?
EJ: I’m a music lover, so often I get ideas for story aesthetics/character concepts from songs. Having the idea is only half the battle, though, so after that I think most of my inspiration to actually write comes from my critique partners and beta readers. Plus, I’m a member of an absolutely amazing writing group, and I think I get a lot of my long-term inspiration from sharing everyone’s trials and tribulations. It really does take a village!