LSQ: This is a twisty one! The whole time I thought one thing and the other thing happened! Did you have it in mind from the beginning for Marthim to have summoned Everelda?
Hannah: Absolutely! This is the first romantic story I’ve ever written and I wanted to make it as interesting as possible. Every time the romance trope took the plot into a ‘zig’ I made a deliberate effort to ‘zag’ back again in the opposite direction. I’m delighted that you didn’t see the twist coming!
LSQ: At the core, this has a theme of relationships and about how people/demons/witches change over time. Did you end up drawing on personal experience to create the evolution of the two characters?
Hannah: Yes, I don’t think I’ve ever written a main character who wasn’t actually a facet of my own personality. I’m not many birthdays away from forty and imagining what the future might look like for me and my family. I love using fiction to work through matters which are important to me, and then sending the work that I produce in the process out into the world. It seems a more fruitful kind of angst – never waste a midlife crisis!
LSQ: At the end, their bond is sealed by the idea to visit Lord Fortesque (which is funny and wicked at the same time). I can imagine lots of future mischief together. What do you imagine they are doing after the story ends?
Hannah: You know, I very rarely have an idea of what characters will do next when I finish a story. Occasionally they will pop up in another somewhere down the line. But I do like your idea of them having adventures together and causing low-level trouble. I think that’s exactly what they would do!
LSQ: Within the grim world you painted, you added such a lovely breath of romance. Is this a genre you often write in? What are your favorite kinds of stories to create?
Hannah: No, I actually challenged myself to write a romance in this story because my default fictional relationships are between The Girl Who Doesn’t Realize How Strong She Is™ and The Awful Boyfriend™. Although lighter, more hopeful stories are becoming more appealing to me these days. I’ve been thinking a lot about how fictional narratives provide a framework for us as both individuals and communities to envision our future. I think taking a more optimistic view of humanity (and other sentient life!) is a change I needed to make, and I’m glad to share that step with you all!