Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Second Day of Tesseracts - An Interview with Lisa L.Hannett

Welcome to our Second Day of Tesseracts. Our feature author is Lisa L. Hannett, who we are speaking to in Southern Australia.

TT: Where are you writing to us from Lisa?
LH: My current location is Adelaide, South Australia

TT: What is the name of your story in Tesseracts Fourteen: Strange Canadian Stories?
LH: 'Soil From My Fingers'

TT:What inspired you to write your story?
LH: I wanted to write a piece that resonated with fairy tales, but which wouldn't be a fairy tale itself. I had a vague notion of telling "the third stepmother's" story – not the first wife, not the seventh daughter of a seventh son, nothing like that. Instead, I was thinking about how the fairy tale dynamic would change if the third stepmother was younger than her daughters. How would they react to her? What would she be like? Then I abandoned most of that plan, but kept the young girl, and wrote a tale about yearning, superstition, plans going haywire and a green-eyed homunculus instead.

TT:Since this collection is about Strange Canadian Stories, what is one of the strangest things that has ever happened to you personally?

LH: About ten or twelve years ago, when I still lived in Ottawa, I was driving to work for an early morning shift. It was the crack of dawn. That, and the fact that I had to travel several kilometres along farmer's fields and sparse tracts of forest before I reached work, meant that nobody else was around. The sky was late winter grey; the long grass that sprouted in ditches along the highway was vibrant by comparison. Gorgeous ochre blades poked out of the snow and caught my eye as I drove. Beautiful, but mundane — grass, snow, sleepy farmhouses, sleepier me. Until a black dog, possibly a Labrador but more realistically a ghost hound, appeared out of nowhere. His fur was too dark against the white and grey to be natural. And as he bounded the length of the ditch, he looked so pleased with himself for being big and strong enough to carry a spine, ribcage and skull (human, I swear) straight out in front of him, using nothing but his smiling jaw.

TT: Could you please give us a strange question you would like to ask other authors?
LH: On average, how many times a week do you write in your pyjamas? Bonus question: do you coordinate your writing pyjamas with the subject matter of your stories?
Lisa L Hannett has sold stories to venues including Clarkesworld, Fantasy, Weird Tales, ChiZine, Electric Velocipede, Midnight Echo and Steampunk II: Steampunk Reloaded. She is a graduate of the Clarion South Writers Workshop. Nine years ago, Lisa moved from Ottawa to Adelaide, South Australia — city of churches, bizarre murders, and pie floaters. Her first collection, Bluegrass Symphony, is being published by Ticonderoga Publications in August 2011 .You can visit her at

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