Interview: Maria Mitchell

Name: Maria Mitchell

Author of: The Song of the Catherine Clark

Age: 27

Geographic Location: Petaluma, California, USA

Twitter: I share some of Lovecraft’s aversion to modernity.

Website: While www.innsmouthfreepress.com is not my website, it’s the website of my publisher, Silvia Moreno-Garcia, and my editor, Paula Stiles; it’s definitely my favorite website to write for, and so it’s the best place to find me.

Past publications: Innsmouth Free Press, Absent Willow Review, Fried Fiction, Ethereal Tales, 69 Flavors of Paranoia, Yester Year Fiction.

What’s your favorite H.P. Lovecraft story or other Mythos story? The Strange High House in the Mist”.

What comes to mind when you think “Lovecraft” + “Erotica”? I think of what a great opportunity this is to romance a new edge of historical evil.

How did you hear about Cthulhurotica? I heard about the anthology from the interview of Carrie Cuinn conducted by Innsmouth Free Press.

What inspired your story? I have always been interested in the vanishing of the passengers aboard the ship, Mary Celeste, in 1872 and have always hoped to channel some of that “ghost ship” energy into a new mystery.

What music or movies helped you to write this story? I compose music for piano and about three years ago I composed and recorded a raw, short, dark, piano instrumental piece I titled Song of the Catherine Clark. It begins on the triad g sharp, c sharp and e natural: my favorite dark, minor chord. I always wanted to take the feeling of that music and translate it into a story.

How many rewrites did you do before submitting? I re-wrote the story many times, but since I tend to labor over paragraphs one at a time instead of doing the wise thing and just drafting multiple versions, I really don’t remember how many versions there were.

What is your favorite bit?

“I am the memory of man, or rather man’s desires. I am Lilith, Ia, Ishtar, Venus, the many guises that man has given me. I am older than the Earth. I was here before.”

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