Chrysopoeia is open for submissions! To give you a look behind the scenes, here’s the second of our editor interviews. Lisa is an assistant editor for Alkimia Fables, and a queer writer and poet who has her own blog up at saintlisa.tumblr.com.
To submit to Chrysopoeia, read the submission guidelines here, and about the anthology here.
What draws you to a story – the first thing that catches your interest and makes you want to read it?
DAVIS: I feel like this is a little vague, but I’m not sure how else to put it except that if it’s weird, I’m probably interested. I’ve got a thing for the bizarre and the surreal, and if it’s spooky to boot? I’m all over it.
What’s your favourite piece of ‘classic’ media, and by contrast, something obscure or lesser-known that inspires you?
DAVIS: David Bowie, in general, inspires me and also a lot of the aesthetic I tend to lean toward in writing.
As for something a little more obscure, REPO: The Genetic Opera. I love my cyberpunk dystopias and this one is as gritty as they come.
What are your personal feelings on the limitations and possibilities of genre and medium?
DAVIS: I mean we’ve already established that I’m into the Weird™ stuff, so I’m a big advocate for using a medium in any way you can. Things that play with layout and structure like House of Leaves keep me breathing.
Genre is an odd one because it’s so much how we define our interests in terms of the media we consume, and I’m not going to say anything new or groundbreaking here, but there is often a lot of overlap, and ignoring that can limit us from experiencing the full scope of a story. Sometimes, a piece of media can encompass a whole lot that we fail to notice when we think of it as fitting One Particular Box. Not many people probably think of Fight Club as a romance, but the indicators are there.
What interests you about urban fantasy as a setting?
DAVIS: My escapist tendencies have followed me into adulthood and the idea of the Weird and Fantastic being just around the corner is appealing. I was dabbling in urban fantasy before I even knew it was a genre, and I’d also been trying to find a more concise term for “fairy tales but Now” for a long time – and urban fantasy encompasses so much more than just that, too.
Not to mention there’s a lot of fun to be had thinking about how certain elements of fantasy would play out in a modern setting, how they would impact character interactions… There’s a lot of room to explore our own reality, all while building another world around it.
What are some stories or identities you’d like to see more of?
DAVIS: It goes without saying that I want to see more LGBT/queer identities represented. In addition to that, I’d love to see more Rroma representation, especially Rroma in the US and North America. I personally connect a lot with stories about conflicting cultural identities, or a loss of cultural connection, or of trying to regain that connection – all three is even better, and will 100% make me cry like a baby.
What are some tropes in media that you feel are overdone, harmful or just hit personal gripes?
DAVIS: There are a lot of tropes surrounding abuse that I loathe, but specifically: abused kid grows up to be just like whoever abused them. “Abuse creates abusers,” where the abusee is doomed to repeat the cycle and become a monster without any hope of learning or changing.
That said, I’ve also got a bone to pick with writing characters who only ever express their trauma in Perfect, Pretty ways, or not at all. Same goes for mental illness.
Also, fridging sucks. Like characters dying, okay, it happens, but if the only way a story can progress/character development can happen is if someone dies (and it’s like, always a woman or otherwise minority character, too) then…….I’m not here for that. It’s just meaningless. This goes hand-in-hand with the “bury your gays” trope, which is…pretty self-explanatory, I think. Sometimes characters die, and it’s part of the story, but if an author’s first instinct is to go for the single queer character then that is. Bad.
What fictional character would be your ideal roommate?
DAVIS: Jareth, the Goblin King. We’re both sparkly and overdramatic. Also, I mean, the goblins would probably help with chores and stuff.
What element would you most want to be in the Alkimia setting?
DAVIS: I’m excitable and sometimes flighty (also, again, sparkly and overdramatic), so take a guess where I’d fall. “Airhead” jokes aside, flying would be pretty cool. I could fight mothman on his own turf.
The submission period for Alkimia Fables: Chrysopoeia closes on October 17th – get your pitches in!