My first story published in some time is finally out in the world. Published by Aurelia Leo in the speculative romance magazine Selene Quarterly, “A Dry River Runs with Blood” is part horror, part fantasy, part climate fiction. It’s the story of a woman who makes a deal with a river god in order to survive a drought. Gods do not always understand the ways of mortal humans and my protagonist grapples with the consequences of the gifts he bestows upon her.
I was interviewed for this issue of Selene Quarterly, and publisher and editor Zelda Knight asked me what makes this story great. For me, one of the most compelling elements of this story is that it is a romance, a seduction — but not only in the most obvious way. The seduction is not only in the way that the protagonist interacts with the river god, but also in how she becomes accustomed to comfort and safety while the others around her bear the brunt of drought and food insecurity. That feeling of comfort shapes her. I won’t give more specifics about that lest I spoil the story, but I hope that readers will think about their own comforts and securities within the context of increasing climate change destabilizations.