It’s kind of become a tradition that I interview the contributors to my anthologies and share those interviews on my blog. It’s also kind of become a tradition that it takes me a very long time to get them all posted. I plan to continue the first tradition but I’m hoping to avoid the second. Just to be different.
Samantha Kymmell-Harvey was one of the best slush readers I ever had at Niteblade, and she’s been with the Alphabet Anthology series from the very beginning 🙂 Her contribution to C is for Chimera was described by Stephanie Cain as, “…another marvelously crafted post-apocalyptic story, focusing on genetic experimentation and the unintended side effects. Beautifully written, this futuristic story resounds with the echoes of a time when women could be locked in institutions for being ‘hysterical’, and yet the story also carries the reader forward into a new world.” I couldn’t have said it better myself. Truly.
What letter were you assigned?
Did you struggle with the letter you were given?
Yes, a little bit. It took me a while to figure out what I wanted to do.
What was your favourite idea for the ‘word’ to use in your title that you didn’t use?
I was in an adjectives sort of mood while choosing, so words like “unstoppable” or “unchangeable” but I’m glad I didn’t’ choose these!
What kind of chimera is your story about?
The genetic kind, though I was tempted to incorporate the classic Greek monster kind.
What, other than the letter you were assigned, helped inspire your story?
I am such a sucker for “undying love” stories in the Gothic genre, so the idea that love can persevere through time and even within DNA was one that inspired me.
Lion, goat or snake–which are you more like?
I’d say lion because I’m totally a cat lady! But also, I ‘ve been known to fiercely defend my opinion.
If you were going to be magically transformed into a chimera composed of three different creatures, what would you want them to be?
Probably a cat-unicorn-pegasus! Because then I could be a cat, I could fly, and I could have a magical unicorn horn. Who doesn’t like flying cat unicorns??
What if it wasn’t limited to creatures? What three things would you want to be composed of?
Maybe a paper-glitter pen- desk creature? Because I seem to always be writing, whether it’s creatively or simply grading papers.
Unrealizable dreams have been called chimeras. Taking the ‘unrealizable’ part out of the equation, what is one of your fondest dreams/goals?
I’d really love to own a little cottage on Orkney island where I could go to unplug and just write and be inspired by the gorgeous Scottish countryside.
Can you share an excerpt from your story?
“The crisp May wind brought goosebumps to Claire’s exposed arms as she stepped awkwardly onto the path. She hadn’t gone on a hike since her diagnosis. She inhaled and closed her eyes. Smelled like dirt and dankness.
Look for the circle of oaks, said the woman.
With each step, Claire went further into the forest, never questioning the path she walked. A stinging sensation of panic teased her stomach. A branch broke beneath her feet.
They’ll never find us here. We’ll be safe if we just stay. Claire saw a tent, a little brook trickling by. Angry voices echoed in the distance. The tent vanished as Claire spun around. There were nothing but trees. It had all been a distant memory.
Am I crazy?
You’re finally waking up, said the other woman’s voice.”
Samantha Kymmell-Harvey is thrilled to once again be a part of the Alphabet Anthologies. Her stories can be found in Bete Noire, Flash Fiction Online, and Spark: A Creative Anthology just to name a few. She is also a graduate of the Odyssey Writing Workshop.
Find C is for Chimera online: