How did “Werewolf Loves Mermaid” come about?
I don’t remember how the notion of a werewolf in love with a mermaid — or maybe it was a mermaid in love with a werewolf — came up one night during the 2006 Worldcon in L.A., but I remember that Daryl Gregory and I thought it was hilarious, and should be a web comic. Unfortunately, neither of us can draw. Right after the con, we each wrote about half a dozen scripts and then over the next few years periodically threatened to find an artist.
Fast forward to 2013. I’d moved to London by then and was getting together my submission for the Milford Writers Workshop. I wanted to include a short story with my novel excerpt, and opened some old files looking for inspiration. There was “WW+MM.” I wrote a first draft using my scripts in one sitting. It got much better after the Milford crits.
How did the characters evolve over the writing of the story?
“Werewolf Loves Mermaid” started out as a punchline, an extended gag about the idea of a mermaid and werewolf in love. And then, somewhere along the line, the two of them got more complex, and suddenly it really was a story about Werewolf and Mermaid in love. Which actually surprised the hell out of me.
I loved all the vignettes across the story arc — were there some you had to leave out?
I used every vignette I wrote, but I didn’t write a vignette for every script. There was one about Mermaid and Werewolf hosting an awkward dinner party for their friends (“Cowboy Hates Vampire”). And of course there are the scripts by Daryl. There are many things I wish I’d stolen from him, not the least of which is “fishystyle.”
What was the most challenging aspect of writing “Werewolf Loves Mermaid”?
Probably trying to work out what to do with poor Dave. There are a lot of options for werewolf rules. I went with three full days based on moon phase, not rising/setting, so Mermaid and Dave didn’t have to see too much of each other.
Any new projects you want to tell us about?
I’m two-thirds of the way through a novel based on my short story “Mayfly,” which is about women who live around seven days. They’re born with the memories of their mothers and age a decade a day. In the story they live unnoticed among humans. The novel is about what happens when it becomes impossible to hide.
Spread the word!