Dragons and unicorns are both fairly differing mythological creatures. Why did you chose a dragon and a unicorn?
To be honest, I don’t think the choice was conscious. The story arose from an image of a dark cave behind a waterfall, and once I imagined a cave, a dragon simply had to be inside. He would guard something precious, a treasure perhaps? Or the most precious of creatures, epitomes of goodness and light: unicorns! The contrast between dragons, symbols of darkness or destruction, and unicorns drew me in: Could they ever come together? Could they fall in love? Would it work?
Were there any myths or legends you found inspiration in for this story?
I feel this is a tale as old as time: Two star-crossed lovers from very different worlds find each other despite the odds, but face the scorn and cruelty from a closed-minded society, which destroys everyone involved.
I thought the emotions were conveyed very well in this story. I felt deeply for both the dragon and the unicorn, which I’m sure was the intention. As the writer, which did you feel greater empathy for?
Definitely the dragon. He’s the one who opens up to love and a hope of acceptance in a world unlike his own, only to be met with savagery and a devastating loss. He embraces the worst aspects of his nature in order to make things right. The dragon gives me the vibe of Laurence Olivier as Heathcliff in “Wuthering Heights.”
If you had a message for readers about this story or writing in general, what would you say?
My eldest son, a college freshman, sometimes beta-reads my stories. He likes many of them, but this is the only one he’s kept asking about, checking if it’s been accepted for publication; he says the story is just so sad. I share this anecdote to show that a dragon and a unicorn and their unlikely offspring can convey more genuine emotion and touch someone more deeply than serious realistic pieces exploring serious realistic emotions of serious realistic people. As a writer, don’t be afraid to shun the boundaries of genre and revel in the childish, the bizarre, and the scary. Sometimes, what you need to say is best said by a protagonist breathing literal fire.
Do you have any previously published pieces you’re particularly proud of?
Here are a few that I love and that I think might be The Ginger Collect readers’ cup of tea:
The Voids Underneath, The Molotov Cocktail, Vol. 9, Issue 8, September 2018.
Vanishing Before Impact, Asymmetry, July 2, 2018.
Cryobliss, Exoplanet Magazine, Issue 1, June 21, 2018.
Rough and Weepy, Riggwelter, Issue 9, May 1, 2018 (p. 42).
Buttons of Flesh and a Beautiful Fish, Occulum, Issue 5, March 1, 2018.
You can read Maura Yzmore’s piece “Waterfall” in Issue Eight of The Ginger Collect!