Over on Speculative Chic, I talk about my newly released novella The Rampant, how research informed the creation of the story and the macabre food web I designed in order to make the underground flesh-and-caterpillar field make sense.
So where do all good stories start? In my case it’s often that fingers-half-covering-eyes thrill of something macabre or erotic or strange playing out on my mental stage. If I’m lucky such a moment (or feeling) triggers one of my obsessive neural pathways and then, well, I’m off, racing down the rabbit hole.
Which is my roundabout way of saying that, for me, stories ignite when I start to research an obsession. Or two obsessions. Or three. Or eighteen. Because let’s be honest, my obsessions are both rife and short-lived. A few weeks, perhaps a few months, and my whirling dervish of a brain has moved on. For my novella The Rampant, after that initial creative glimpse — now lost in the memory-dust of time — my spiral of interest moved from the various cremation practices found around the world, the process of decomposition, and magpies, to the ancient beehive-shaped houses of Harran, Turkey and eventually to bioluminescent organisms and the various ways in which they could illuminate The Rampant’s physical underworld. Continue reading…