The best kinds of dreams are the ones so wild and vivid that that they immediately inspire a story. Such was the case for Savannah Wade and her Issue 050 story “Magpie Girls.” Read on as she tells us all about it!
LSQ: What a journey this story is! It’s so vivid, and the emotion I felt while reading it was so strong—Lily’s apprehension surrounding her father and Josephine’s determination to see that she’s treated right. What inspired you to write this story?
Savannah: This story first began as a dream. I dreamt of two young school girls both becoming obsessed with a visiting magician and their descent into madness. My dream was so vivid that I could tell it wanted to be a story. When I sat down to write it, the story began morphing under my fingertips into something quite different than my dream. Josephine and Lily’s relationship came naturally so I knew I needed to follow that string and it led to a sapphic yearning tale inspired by Picnic at Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay and A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray.
LSQ: I love the inclusion of Le Bateleur! Did you always know you wanted a divination angle with this story? How did you decide on this card? Do you practice Tarot?
Savannah: In my dream, the magician was just that, a magician. I didn’t connect him to the tarot until I was writing it and it came about naturally. Also, I have always wanted to put the magician card in a story because it is my favorite card in the tarot. To me, the magician card is one about becoming a master of knowledge, keeper of secrets and wielder of manipulation and manifestation. I always squee with glee when I get it in my own personal tarot readings. I use tarot for personal and writer reasons. Its incredibly beneficial to create writing structures, characters, and arcs.
LSQ: The story has a satisfying but open end. Would you write more of the story of Josephine and Lily?
Savannah: I don’t think I will write any more of Josephine and Lily, but I do have in my mind what happens to them. Josephine goes onto to take a secretary course in London. Both Lily and Jo live in a small flat above a bakery. Lily lives with Jo while she goes on dates with unavailable but attractive men. Josephine finally gets a job as a secretary and makes a vow to Lily to take care of her so she doesn’t have to marry. Lily hesitantly agrees and slowly, but surely the two form a romantic inseparable bond. Josephine does eventually tell Lily about the magician and she doesn’t believe a word, haha.