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Author Spotlight: Ysabeau S. Wilce

How did this story come about for you? Where did the voice of the narrator come from?

I wrote this story while I was at Clarion West. The whole thing — character, voice, action — just sort of sprang, as it were, completely out of nowhere. I stole the name Springheel Jack from the notorious early nineteenth-century monster, but the shiny red boots were a riff on the fairy tale of the red shoes. Instead of making you dance until you drop, these boots make you steal until you drop.

This story shows a lot of color: blue for the cold, the tenement, and poverty; red for the shiny boots, and the promise of what the boots can bring our Jack. What prompted this choice? Do you dabble in the visual arts yourself?

I work purely in words, but I try to be as vivid as possible in my description. I hadn’t actually noticed until now the oppositional use of red and blue — it was a lucky accident, I guess.

What’s next for you? Do you think you’d expand on Jack’s adventures as you see them?

Springheel Jack does appear in my other novels, in varying guises. I see him as a trickster character, so I never know where he is going to show up or what he’s going to be up to when he does. In fact, he is a major character in my current work in progress so we’ll definitely be hearing more from him.

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Robyn Lupo

Robyn Lupo lives in Southwestern Ontario with her not-that-kind-of-doctor partner and three cats. She enjoys tiny things, and has wrangled flash for Women Destroy Science Fiction! as well as selected poetry for Queers Destroy Horror! She aspires to one day write many things.