Interviewer: In “Shiver Soft Feathers,” the only glimmer of hope derives from darkness: “There’s hope in the huntress stalking the night. There’s none in the daylight.” After being assigned ‘despair’ and ‘trepidation,’ what did your writing process look like? How did you arrive at the idea of “The Spotted Girl” and wings?
L’Erin Ogle: I’ve worked with Morris before and he’s a fantastic editor to work with, but it still took a ton of editing/rewriting this piece. I tend to write dark/melancholy most of the time and had an old story I was rewriting that seemed like it could fit. Despair and trepidation are in most of my work, so I sat down and rewrote, homing in on the themes.
The idea came from the despair of parentless children, whether they were physically present or not. The Spotted Girl was doomed from the start-born to addict parents and altered in appearance-and she always had wings underneath. To me, they meant freedom from a life of abuse and misery.
Interviewer: What challenges did you face incorporating your major and minor emotions?
L’Erin Ogle: It was tough finding the tone for despair—I kept hitting misery. When I finally found it, I knew it! Morris commented on the same line “There it is” and I was very relieved—it was a LOT of rewrites by that point! I kept looking up the terms in the dictionary, and it was much harder to incorporate emotion than just an idea.
Interviewer: After finishing your story, what was the single most valuable take-away from the experience?
L’Erin Ogle: That it is possible to hang onto a character and idea you love, and see an okay story turn into a much better version of itself.
Interviewer: Given that this is a “score” anthology, what representative piece of music would you connect to “Shiver Soft Feathers”?
L’Erin Ogle: “Only Happy When It Rains” by Garbage
Buy the Score anthology, which includes L’Erin Ogle’s story “Shiver Soft Feathers” focused on Despair and Trepidation.