When Canadian author Renée Gendron presented me with an intriguing idea—that we would each take our linked stories from the Heads and Tales anthology, edited by Chapel Orahamm, and turn them into novellas—I found myself staring at my monitor, head in hands. The story I was working with was a historical supernatural war story, the myth of the Wild Hunt—berserker warriors and their hounds from hell, heralds of war—transposed to the battle for Fort Detroit on the U.S./Canadian border during the War of 1812.
The problem for me was that my story was relatively self contained and complete. I quickly came up with a prologue of sorts, set decades before when my main character was a young boy. As I wrote that new opening chapter, things presented themselves, symbolic elements that I thought might be useful later in the book. How? I wasn’t remotely sure. More monitor staring.
The trick for me, the thing that broke the story open and let it breathe, was realizing that I did not have to stick to my historical period. I decided to lean hard into fantasy and a healthy dollop of horror, to let my imagination run wild. I made sure that all the historical aspects of my story were historically accurate, relatively speaking, but for the rest of it I decided to have fun. Those symbolic elements became recurring motifs, and in one case a full-fledged character that was a joy to write.
This is Book 2 of the Wild Hearts and Hunts duology, in that it shares a place, time, and a couple of characters, but both books can be read completely independently.
MEMBER POST BY DAVID SIMON
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