The Rains Would Not Come, flash fiction, Issue 29, December 1, 2014
When did you start writing? I started writing poetry around the age of four. By six I had set up a rival family magazine – part comic, part news – to my older brother and sister’s publication. I didn’t start writing fiction seriously until I turned seven.
When and what and where did you first get published? I won a few writing competitions in my teens and this led to my first publication of a poem called ‘The Budgerigar’ in BBC Wildlife Magazine in the mid 1990’s. My first sale of a short story was my horror comedy succubus story ‘Who’s for Dinner’ which I sold to Alienskin in 2008.
What themes do you like to write about? Transformation and winged creatures are a recurring theme in my work – as is evident in ‘The Rains Would Not Come’. I love the idea of a physical transformation denoting a big change in a characters life, and I usually use animals to depict that transformation in a symbolic way.
What books and/or stories have most resonated with you as an author? Why? How do these stories and their characters find expression in your work? There are many books and stories that have resonated with me, but probably the most influential to my writing has been The Last Unicorn by Peter S Beagle. It was the first movie I saw in the cinema at the impressionable age of about two, and it has been the benchmark for my work ever since. The Last Unicorn is such a wonderful book – and the movie isn’t bad either. It’s full of sadness, beauty, humour, magic and depth. I’m not surprised that it had such a profound effect on my young mind.
The themes of transformation, responsibility, loss, mythological creatures and natural magic all appear in that book and these themes have fascinated me since I was a child and are what I return to again and again in my work.
Iseult Murphy has been writing fantasy since the age of 7, when her sister told her the plotline to The Lord of the Rings and she thought she could do better. Her early drawings of cats hunting mice indicated that she would grow up to write horror as well. She won several national science fiction short story competitions in her teens, and has had over two dozen speculative fiction stories published in a variety of print and online markets. Her stories have recently appeared in Drabblecast and Alban Lake’s Drabble Harvest.