Wednesday, February 15, 2012
How I Came To Write This Story" Loren Eaton
"King Flounder" Loren Eaton, GRIMM TALES
If you’d told me five years ago that I’d publish a crime story based off of a Grimm’s fairy tale, I’d have laughed. For some reason, I never read many fairy tales as a child, and speculative fiction replaced crime fiction in my reading stack soon after graduating from college. Back then, I didn’t see myself getting much exposure to either in the future. But a funny thing happened: I found Patti’s blog, Peter Rozovsky’s Detectives Beyond Borders blog and the fairy-tales-retold anthology Black Swan, White Raven. Suddenly, I had new (and old-become-new) reading material. Then John Kenyon of Things I'd Rather Be Doing issued a call for what would eventually become the Untreed Reads anthology Grimm Tales. How could I miss the opportunity?
Even though I possessed scant knowledge of fairy tales beyond the Disney-fied versions, I knew one I wanted to adapt -- “The Fisherman and His Wife.” In the story, a henpecked husband keeps asking a magical flounder for more and more blessings at the command of his greedy wife. If you haven’t read it, let’s just say its ending feels about as bleak as anything in noir. I’d also recently watched The Godfather and knew I wanted to plunk a semi-likeable Mafioso down in the Florida Keys, a place not too far geographically speaking from where I live. I once fished the salt flats around Key West and knew that flounder sometimes made it that far north. And the ending, well, I always liked that bit where Michael Corleone flagrantly plugs Sollozzo and McCluskey in an Italian restaurant. Hopefully, I captured some of that bravado in the conclusion of “King Flounder.”
Anyway, I suppose that’s how I came to write this story!