Dark Cheer

I am excited to have a short story in “Volume Blue” of Dark Cheer Cryptids Emerging, a new two-volume anthology from https://improbablepress.com

Dark Cheer Cryptids Emerging from Improbable Press https://improbablepress.com

Why write about cryptids? Why not! Mythical creatures fascinate me, especially shapeshifters. I never quite felt comfortable in my skin as a human until I learned the words “agender” and “nonbinary” to describe part of my identity.

As a child (and teen and adult) brought up with strict certainties about gender, in my imagination I was a shapeshifter who could choose to be male or female or both or neither, human or animal or alien, whatever made sense to me at the time. I felt affinity with selkies and cat sidhe and werewolves and kelpies and all the mythical creatures who could change shape.

My story is about a family of Kelpies and humans coexisting, feeling the pull of both the sea and the shore. My adventurous young protagonist has to decide which world fits him best, and it is not an easy choice to make.

Why Kelpies? Kelpies are part of Scottish folklore. I’m Scottish and I wanted to write something that evoked part of my life. I remember going on trips “up the coast” with my family, where we would stop to admire the wildness of the landscape or to collect seashells and count the waves. My dad would point to the froth of the breaking waves and ask if I could see white horses. I had a literal mind, then.

The seaside has always been a magical place for me. I can’t think of a better place to be than a wind-whipped, shingle beach with salt in the air and waves crashing on the shore. Writing my story “Dancing in the Shallows” let me inhabit that magical place for a while.

Volume Blue (and Volume Silver, of course, where you will find even more magical tales) is available for preorder from https://improbablepress.com/products/dark-cheer-cryptids-emerging-volume-blue

I can hardly wait to read them all when the volumes are published in December.

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