The brothers begin as equals, but with different modus operandi that lead to very different lifestyles. Is there something of the political here?
Not really—stories require contrast and conflict, and two brothers provide a useful means of achieving both.
Is the idea of a “fair share” ultimately damning?
It can be difficult to determine, but I don’t think damnation is a necessary outcome; again, stories require conflict, and melodramatic inflation often tends to take matters to unfortunate extremes.
I loved the twist on the water from the fountain of youth. Is the vigor and “youth” inherently high energy, addictive, and destructive, or was there something else in the elixir that made its drinkers insane?
I imagined the elixir primarily as a kind of ultimate stimulant, with the various expectable corollary effects that you list. The plot assumes, of course, that most people are inherently vicious; whether or not that qualifies as insanity depends on your definition of sanity.
What did you want readers to take away from this story?
An aesthetic appreciation of the irony of fate—the aim of most, if not all contes cruels.
What can your readers look forward to next?
I continue to work furiously against the Grim Reaper’s ticking clock and raised scythe. The Mirror of Dionysus, the third novel in the series begun with The Wayward Muse and Eurydice’s Lament, will be out from Black Coat Press in January. I have several queued up at Wildside Press, but they’ve been delayed by forces beyond the publisher’s control; the next two will be a fantasy set in eighteenth-century Venice, The Portals of Paradise, and a contemporary metaphysical fantasy, The Tangled Web of Time, which will hopefully be out soon.
Spread the word!