Snow's Daughter, fiction, Issue 22, March 1, 2013
When did you start writing? I was one of those kids who is always writing. I was always making up stories on paper. In my teens I wrote the usual wretched poetry, as well as stories and sketches. In college I even minored in creative writing. But after college I took a long hiatus from fiction writing as I concentrated on my scientific research career. It's only in the last few years that I've made it back to fiction writing.
When and what and where did you first get published? My short story, "Storm," appeared online in 2009 in the motherhood-themed journal, Literary Mama. It's "realist" fiction, but I like to think there are also subtle elements of slipstream.
What themes do you like to write about? I could say that I'm interested in using the structure of myths/fantasy to explore human relationships and emotion, but aren't most fantasy writers? I will say that I'm fascinated by fairy tales about people caught between worlds or states of being--the selkie myths, the classic tale of The Little Mermaid. (the influence of the latter on my story, "Snow's Daughter," is obvious). I don't think I've written enough to say that there are recurring themes in my work. My first published stories were non-genre pieces dealing with aspects of motherhood. I'll just have to keep writing to see what other themes come out!
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? This is really hard. Everything that you read influences you as a writer, after all. I will say that some of the writers I first loved were Ursula LeGuin, Patricia McKillip, Susan Cooper, Roger Zelazny. More recently I've been on the George R.R. Martin bandwagon along with everyone else. Non-genre authors who've taught me: Jhumpa Lahiri, Andrea Barrett, Nam Le, Bonnie Jo Campbell. All are authors of short story collections that have blown me away. I'm really in love with the short story form right now.
Vanessa Fogg is a molecular cell biologist and writer. Her fiction has appeared in the journals Literary Mama and Melusine, or Woman of the 21st Century. She lives in a cold mid-western city with her husband and children.