16 February 2016

from Author Brown

We're excited to publish the story "Catch and Release" by Tiffany Michelle Brown in our February 29, 2016 issue of Electric Spec. Here's what Author Brown has to say about her story:

The show Lost Girl, my proximity to water (I live in San Diego, California), and my lifelong love of Greek and Roman mythology are what inspired me to write "Catch and Release."

You know how some people go gaga over vampires? That’s how I feel about sirens. But you don’t see too many contemporary stories about them (or am I simply not looking hard enough?), so I challenged myself to create my own interpretation of the classical siren. In modern times. In a bar in Florida. Out on the hunt. Because sirens need to eat, too, and why should vampires and werewolves have all the fun meddling in the human world?

During this particular hunting trip, Theron, my protagonist, doesn’t enjoy his usual routine—walk into a bar, find a snack, go home to Persephone. Unexpectedly, he meets another mythological creature. One to be reckoned with. And that’s when the fun begins.

When I wrote "Catch and Release" last year, it was an anomaly. At the time, I was writing a lot of straight-up horror. In lieu of gore and ghosts and creepy campfires, I embraced sensuality, folklore, and different kind of tension than fear. "Catch and Release" started out as a challenge, a writing exercise, and it progressed into something I’m rather proud of.

"Catch and Release" was a gateway drug, because since, I’ve been writing a lot more in the fantasy/magical realism vein. A few weeks ago, I finished a story about Death personified, but instead of the customary black robe and a scythe, Death shows up wearing the likeness of a past love (and isn’t a terrifying presence—friendly and comforting, in fact). I just finished a happily never after story inspired by The Frog Prince, which features a talking pigeon and sexual addiction (separately, I promise!). And now I’m working on a Japanese folk story adaptation that involves aliens, bamboo, and interplanetary love.

With fantasy and speculative literature, there are no limitations. You can be sexy or funny or absurd. You can create new creatures and species. You can play with gender tropes and social norms and inhuman emotions. Anything goes.

Even darkly attractive sirens in well-tailored suits who sip fruity cocktails at beach bars.

I hope you enjoy "Catch and Release."

Thanks, Tiffany!

Check out the issue on February 29, 2016!

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