It's two months and two days till JordanCon (but who's counting?) so I'm here to feature another author in this years anthology, Become Legend: Rosemary Williams with her submission "Urban Planning."
First, can you tell us about your writing? Is this your first published work?
Unlike a lot of writers, I had no idea I was going to be one when I was young. The closest I came was online roleplaying when MUSHes were still a big thing. (Though as it turns out, it’s a really good way to get a solid percentage of your Million Words of Crap out of your system.) Then there I was, in my late 30s and minding my own voracious reader business, when I had just finished a particular book by my current favorite author and then there was an audible *pop!* and a new gear abruptly engaged in my brain. Suddenly I wanted to put new characters in and play around in the sandbox with new plots and characters and what was happening to me?
I’ve been toying around with fan fiction for a few years to try to shake out some of my rookie writer mistakes, and I’m now to the point where I feel competent enough to write my own original work. I’m really pleased with how it turned out, which is thanks in very large part to my editor, Debra Dixon. She was amazingly helpful and kind to my poor newbie writer's soul.
Where does your story fall on the speculative fiction scale?
It’s comic horror with enough connection to urban fantasy that I could take future stories with these characters in that direction pretty seamlessly.
What excited you the most with writing this story?
It was just gloriously weird and fun to write, and it gave me a chance to showcase some of my hometown of Kansas City. If you find yourself reading and going, “Wait, is that a real thing she’s referencing?” the answer is probably yes.
Are there any themes you want readers to get a sense of?
I wouldn’t really call this an attempt at highbrow literature - it’s a fun romp, and I hope people enjoy reading it. Writing a decent story that clocked in under 7,500 words was quite enough of a challenge for me. But as I mentioned earlier, I have ideas for writing future stories with these characters, and have planted a few seeds of greater depth that will have time to germinate and grow as I improve my skills.
Is there a specific inspirational source you used for this story?
So, as you probably know, the anthology theme this involves legends. This story is based on an urban legend - albeit one I made up and have fun with joking about with my friends - that the all of the weird-shaped intersections in Kansas City are designed that way to hide mysterious eldritch glyphs that are keeping a giant monster asleep beneath the city.
If you like the story, you should find a moment to thank your fellow JordanConner Mark Lindberg for his part in inspiring me to write it. I had shared a picture on Facebook that supported my silly theory and blathered away about it, when he replied with, “So when do I get to read this story?” This was about two weeks from the anthology deadline. If he hadn’t made that little push, I might not have gathered my wits quickly enough to get it written in time.
What else would you like to say to your readers?
Thank you, Rosemary, for talking with me today. The JordanCon 2020 anthology Become Legend is available for pre-order until March 25th. You can purchase it on JordanCon’s website.