I am delighted to be able to announce my second published work with Jayhenge, this time a more lengthy piece entitled 'Mysterious Circumstances', which takes up a good chunk of the Unearthly Sleuths anthology. I am published alongside a good many of my very talented DeviantArt buddies, and that's just awesome.
Of course, I was very proud when 'Peacebot' was selected by Jessica for publication; in fact, she hand-picked it from my rather large collection of flash fiction over at DeviantArt. It was written in response to a prompt, then polished for submission. Artificial intelligence is a theme that interests me, and the story offers a snapshot of the kind of ideas that I have about it. 'Mysterious Circumstances' is different, in that it was written specifically for submission to Unearthly Sleuths, and a great deal of time and thought went into its composition. I do feel that it's more quintessentially me; my friends and followers on DeviantArt have read numerous stories involving a tenacious teenage girl, an atmospheric British setting of some kind, fuzzy animals and/or my favourite bits of folklore. This story offers all of those things... and, er, hopefully something new and interesting as well! ^^;
I'll keep this spoiler-free and refrain from writing about why I chose the supernatural elements that I did. Suffice it to say, all the inspiration came from the legends of Orkney, which you can read about here. Shall I confess...? Okay, I will. I've never been there! Hopefully one day I'll make that long and complicated journey, but I wrote the story before that day came. It's just that I've been enchanted by the legends, and I've felt a little something of the extraordinary atmosphere of the place through words and pictures, though I'm sure this is nothing compared with actually being there. Even so, my heart and soul are in the story that the place inspired, and I'm so proud to see it in print.
The icing on the cake is the illustration that accompanies my piece. An illustration is included with author bios to complement their story, all of them beautiful, and I could not be happier with mine. It's gorgeous, and perfectly evokes the atmosphere I was trying to create. When I submitted the story, Jessica told me in her response that she 'love[d] the feel' of it. This was very much what I had hoped to achieve.