INTERVIEW: Vylar Kaftan, author of “The Orange-Tree Sacrifice”

Tell us a bit about your story. What’s it about?

Salvation when all hope is lost.

What was the genesis of the story–what was the inspiration for it, or what prompted you to write it?

At Potlatch, there’s a charity auction to support Clarion West.  I offered the chance to give me an image–anything kinky, surreal, or disturbing is right up my alley.  The bidder asked for a story about a girl on fishhooks.

Was this story a particularly challenging one to write? If so, how?

Well, part of the bid was that I’d write the story on the spot and read it the very next day.  So yes, I was writing this story while attempting to ignore the auction.  And I needed the story to be good.  So I cranked up my headphones and rocked out.

Most authors say all their stories are personal.  If that’s true for you, in what way was this story personal to you?

It evokes memories of adventures in my wilder days.

What kind of research did you have to do for the story?

None.  Let’s leave it at that.

What is the appeal of wizard fiction? Why do so many writers–or you yourself–write about it? Why do readers love it so much?

If we use the non-gendered definition of wizard (i.e. “one who practices magic” rather than getting confused with witches and enchantresses and whatnot)… we have a person who actively manipulates the fabric of the universe itself.  What’s not to love?

What are some of your favorite examples of wizard fiction, and what makes them your favorites?

No specifics.  I’m most fond of magic that has serious consequences and isn’t undertaken lightly. Altering the universe cannot be done over tea-time.