For the next several weeks I’ve decided to call Fridays ‘Fractured Friday’ and use them to share news, contributor interviews and excerpts from B is for Broken.
B is for Broken contains 26 stories (one for each letter of the alphabet) centered on the theme of brokenness. The diversity of genres and subject matter will blow you away. We’ve got science fiction, fantasy, horror and weird fiction about broken hearts, broken space ships, broken lives, broken bones–you name it. If you like speculative fiction and short stories, this collection is one you’re going to want to check out 🙂
I met Alexis when she submitted a story to Niteblade. I accepted that story (Dragons of Fire) and that might have been the end of it, except that not long after Alexis volunteered to fill an empty slush reader position at Niteblade so I got to work with her further. And I’m exceptionally glad I did (and not just because she and Samantha Kymmell-Harvey were the pair of slush readers who worked the best together and practically did my job for me… though that helps).
I’m proud to include Alexis’ stories in both A is for Apocalypse and B is for Broken 🙂
Interview With Alexis A. Hunter
What letter were you assigned? N
Please share a short excerpt from your story:
Elise felt naked without the patterns on her skin. She couldn’t stand the idea of sleeping in her own bed tonight. The dark sigils brought a squirmy warmth to her stomach—a sort of unease, coupled with a thrill.
Mama said the negatives were evil—the magic of violence. Elise found herself staring at them. Their lines and edges were sharp, geometric, sometimes jagged. She didn’t know each sigil’s exact meaning, but she felt their intent: violence, harm, anger. They shimmered close, begging her to use them, oddly sharper and clearer than any sigil she’d seen in her magick before.
Instinctively, she trailed her fingers over her heart, reaching for the pattern of sleep. A thick sleep, a sleep that the dark shapes couldn’t disturb. But that comfort was gone.
What is the thing you’ve most regretted breaking? If we’re gonna get all deep and painful here, I’ll go ahead and say my faith. I broke it, I let it break—either way, it shattered and I’m still trying to pull the shards out of me. How’s that for morbid? 😉
Have you ever broken something and not been saddened by it? Can you tell us about that? There wasn’t actually “breaking” involved, but one day in a fit of teenage angst I burned a lot of photos and mementos related to a boy I thought I loved. Looking back the whole thing seems silly, but at the time it consumed my world. Burning the physical effects like that helped somehow.
If you could break one law and get away with it consequence-free, what would it be? That’s a tough one for me. I’m all about following the rules (laws). I…honestly can’t think of a law I would break!
Do you have any rules for yourself, a code of some sort, which you’d never break? I’m still sort of reassembling my moral code now that I’ve left behind most of my faith. Ask me again in a year (and I probably still won’t have an answer, haha)!
Did you struggle with the letter you were assigned, or did the ideas come freely? I struggled a little, but not too much thankfully. I first had ‘N is for Neighbor’—an element which still plays a pretty big role in my story—but ended up changing it to the more important N of the story.
Additionally, at first I took the theme of broken to be about ‘breaking a spell’. I may have only felt it in the actual drafting stage, but at some part the theme of ‘Broken’ came to mean more to me, more to Elise as something broke in her in the end of the story. Similarly to my broken faith, there are some things you can’t put back together and usually those are the things that you break inside yourself.
What, aside from the anthology’s theme and your letter inspired your story? The entire magic system in this story was probably my favorite part to brainstorm—it came about after seeing some gorgeous chalk art on Pinterest. There’s something lovely to me about the idea of tactile magic—drawn and redrawn daily. From there came the ideas for the bandoleer (such a tiny detail, but it thrills me for some reason) and the focusing of magic by painting it on skin.
Alexis A. Hunter revels in the endless possibilities of speculative fiction. Over fifty of her short stories have appeared recently in Shimmer, Cricket Magazine, Flash Fiction Online, and more. To learn more, visit www.alexisahunter.com.
And add it to your shelves at Goodreads