In our new author series, we’ll be offering a clairvoyant peek behind the veil of who and what makes up TRANSCENDENT. Here’s a glimpse at Morven Westfield and her story “No, Nay, Never.”
ABOUT THE STORY
What inspired your story?
A real event. My brother had an extra ticket for a folk concert and asked me if I wanted to go. In between songs, the singer addressed the audience, as folkies usually do. I was listening intently when I heard a nasty, “Hey, knock it off,” somewhere behind me. I turned around, worried that it was a fight. Just one seat away, a man was leaning back into his chair, obviously upset about something. As I turned back, I saw my brother apologizing to him as he put his iPhone way.
It was such a change from the intimate, folky experience and the man was so loud and gruff that I feared violence. How could he be at a folk concert and be such a jerk? The story was my way of dealing with my emotional distress from the event.
Did you have to do any research? If so, what kind? What did you learn?
I did a little research on the history and structure of the venue. I based the folk singer on a few different acts and used a traditional song, searching the internet for ideas.
Can you tell me a little bit about your protagonist?
In creating Larry, I tried to imagine what kind of person would be so aggressive and loud. My brother hadn’t done anything wrong — the signs said no flash photography, but didn’t say no photography. He wasn’t using a flash. He wasn’t standing up and blocking they guy’s view. Why was the guy being such a jerk? I decided that Larry was not only used to having things his way, but was also supersensitive to distractions.
Tell me about the setting you chose and how it influences your work.
I chose the historic Central Fire Station, in Natick, Massachusetts, built in 1874 and restored in time to open as an arts center in 2003. My setting had to be something large enough for a well-known artist, but not so big that a verbal distraction like that would have faded into the background.
If your story was front-page news, what would the headline be?
Man Gets What He Asked For
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
When did you decide to take writing seriously?
Around 2000. Unfortunately, I was still working a full-time demanding job, so I didn’t start really submitting actively for another ten years.
If you could choose a single superpower, what would it be and why?
The ability to access memories like they’re computer files, and flag certain memories as needing a password so that awkward or bad memories don’t surface without your permission.
Morven Westfield writes supernatural and horror fiction. Her short stories have appeared in multiple anthologies and she regularly contributes articles on folklore and the supernatural to The Witches Almanac. Her two novels, Darksome Thirstand The Old Power Returns, feature vampires who battle modern witches.
She is a member of Broad Universe, the Horror Writers Association, New England Horror Writers, and New England Speculative Writers. She is particularly active in the New England chapter of Broad Universe.
Morven lives in Central Massachusetts with her husband. Like many writers, she keeps a messy office and drinks way too much coffee.
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