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.
Today’s interviewee is Suzanne van Rooyen. I met Suzanne through Niteblade and was exceptionally happy when she agreed to contribute to this series. Her C is for Chimera story was described by one reviewer as being “full of gorgeous sentences“, which I think is something that can actually be said for most of Suzanne’s work.
What letter were you assigned?
Did you struggle with the letter you were given?
Not really. There are tons of great words that start with W – I actually had a harder time narrowing down what I wanted to use in the story rather than struggling to come up with ideas.
What was your favourite idea for the ‘word’ to use in your title that you didn’t use?
Gosh, so many. I had quite a few ‘war’ related ideas that I might still use sometime or try to incorporate into a novel perhaps.
What kind of chimera is your story about?
I’m not really sure I can talk about that without giving away spoiler, but suffice it to say my chimera is more man than beast 😉
What, other than the letter you were assigned, helped inspire your story?
My daily life in Stockholm and the gypsies who routinely busk on the commuter trains.
Lion, goat or snake–which are you more like?
Um – I have no idea. Maybe a goat considering I like to climb.
If you were going to be magically transformed into a chimera composed of three different creatures, what would you want them to be?
Ooh, this is hard. Maybe a panther for the body and head, condor for the massive wings and let’s go with dragon for a lethal tail and talons.
What if it wasn’t limited to creatures? What three things would you want to be composed of?
Adamantium, whatever Mystique is made of that allows her to shapeshift, and Tesseract energy.
Unrealizable dreams have been called chimeras. Taking the ‘unrealizable’ part out of the equation, what is one of your fondest dreams/goals?
I really really want to do a roadtrip across the States in a VW Type II. But if that fails – which it probably will considering the reliability of VW Type IIs, then my next more realistic dream is to travel to the Galapagos islands.
Can you share a short excerpt from your story?
Tucked safe in the corner at the back of the carriage, I count the seconds between stations.
At Slussen, the doors open and she wafts into the train, skirts rustling and long plaits swinging. She sees me and inclines her head, her smile shy but spilling into her fathomless eyes. Others shift uncomfortably in her presence, wary of the jangling coins in her paper cup. The train leaves the station and she starts to sing.
Her voice weaves a tapestry of color, sound eddies rippling in neon to splash against the windows. Her music spatters me with red and yellow, a hundred shades of blue I cannot name, dousing my clothes if only it could douse my skin and extinguish the searing presence of everything left unsaid. She paints her memories through melody, her hopes and dreams for those willing to see.
Suzanne is a tattooed storyteller from South Africa, and the author of the novels The Other Me, I Heart Robot, and Scardust. She currently lives in Sweden and is busy making friends with the ghosts of her Viking ancestors. Although she has a Master’s degree in music, Suzanne prefers conjuring strange worlds and creating quirky characters. When she grows up, she wants to be an elf – until then, she spends her time (when not writing) wall climbing, buying far too many books, and entertaining her shiba inu, Lego.
Find C is for Chimera online: