Cara DiGirolamo


The Fée Knight, fiction, issue 51, June 2020





Cara Masten DiGirolamo is an MFA candidate at the University of British Columbia, an amateur bookbinder, and a rogue instructor in the secret art of Turkish paper marbling. With a Ph.D. in linguistics, she also works as a fictional language consultant. Her fiction can be found in 
KanstellationDaily Science Fiction, the anthology Tragedy Queens: Stories Inspired by Lana Del Rey & Sylvia Plath (Clash Books, 2018), and the podcasts the Manawaker Flash Fiction PodcastCast of Wonders (forthcoming), and Monsters out of the Closet (forthcoming).



Get to know Cara...


When did you start writing?

I don't remember a time when I wasn't writing. At eight or nine, with my mom's help, I wrote my own American Girl Doll novel wherein Samantha went to Maine and had to deal with blackflies. At first I always wrote for my own pleasure. I didn't realize just how much fun having an audience could be until I wrote a dirty poem in English class and made everyone laugh.


When and what and where did you first get published?

My first publication was an angsty queer poem in Teen Ink in high school. My first fiction sale as an adult was an angsty queer story in the Tragedy Queens anthology. Has anything changed? I write less poetry.


Why do you write?

I think I write because I'm confused—why do people do what they do? Why is the world the way it is? If I can come up with a convincing enough story about it, I feel less confused. A story is a working hypothesis. When it breaks, it's time to write a new story.


Why do you write Science Fiction and/or Fantasy?

I didn't realize I primarily wrote fantasy until an undergraduate professor picked a story of mine that wasn't fantasy and suggested I write 300 more pages and turn it into a novel. I couldn't even imagine doing it. How could I write a whole novel where the only things that could happen were things that plausibly would happen? I didn't know where to find astonishment or wonder in the world of the story. There weren't endless mysteries to explore. No one would die a hero. For me, the emotions I want to explore and evoke in my stories don't really fit in the modern realist tradition. I also never knew I wrote fantasy because I grew up on myths, legends and folklore, IvanhoeA Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, and the novels of Diana Wynne Jones and Terry Pratchett. They were just stories. Sometimes trickster gods show up in Upstate New York. Sometimes you take a party drug that lets you see the future. Why not?

 






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