11 December 2011

Cardoons! - the story behind the story

"Every Milkmaid you eat will bring you one step closer to a soft and smooth complexion."

Some say we won't have any secrets soon, and to that I say, Bahh Blabberbugs. But it would be churlish not to let on that my newest published story — Cardoons! — a horror tale of veg and WARNINGs (announced here the other day because I'm delighted that it's nestled in Issue #1 of Phantasmagorium, "A new quarterly collection of visceral adult fiction", edited by Laird Barron) — well, as I was roundaboutly saying, Cardoons! has some people without whom this tale wouldn't have been a sspht betwixt my synapses. This is one of my favourite stories, and that drooble above is an indulgence I couldn't help blurting out.

First, Cardoons! is dedicated to
Vincent Michael Simbulan, for his brainchild A Time For Dragons, An Anthology of Philippine Draconic Fiction. Specifically, as I wrote in a previous post, "Included in the volume is a wonderfully informative (without pain) essay by Charles Tan, about the great variety of dragons and their relationships with us."

(Oh, there are also many others who inspired my horrors in this story, but their names shall live in unfamy.)

And then you should know about the art of Marc McBride.

Just some of the art of Marc McBride

I greatly admire his art (and although the public doesn't know it yet, his writing also has a unique charm that is completely captivating).

We've worked together before, on this, because we like collaborating. I asked him to lead with the illo, and I would follow with a story.

The Eye of Nostradamus Summit
Painting by Marc McBride
Story by Anna Tambour

We both see Cardoons! as a lavishly illustrated children's book. I wrote Cardoons! for Marc, thinking of his beautiful prismatic, sinuous paintings — and especially his palette, rife with colours butterflies would kidnap him to garb them with.


Laird said...

Thanks for sending it to me, Anna.

anna tambour said...

I am still pinching myself that you gave me the opportunity. After all, you wrote in —30—
"— You fool, he said. — There's not a damned thing to be afraid of."

There's no other writer who could say that and produce the reaction you do. Instant, gut-liquidising fear. Your style and power is unique. Your visceral relationship with fear and nightmares, and your special ability to horrify, even with "Spam placenta", is idiosyncratic, often seen at the scariest angle — oblique, fleeting, or just through another sense through vast nuances of darkness.

So I am awed to have a story in anything that you have anything to do with. But also, your vision meant that the collection has a personality of its own, making the sum of the parts, a singular beast.

anna tambour said...

er, I accidentally linked that brilliant story, "—30—", to the first of Laird Barron's superb collections, The Imago Sequence, but " —30—" in his second collection, Occultation. As I said the other day not about his books, but in parenthetic offhand, "I never expect every story in a collection or anthology to work for me, and only rarely find a collection in which every story does (both of Laird Barron's collections are magnificent exceptions)..."

Laird said...

Aw, thanks, Anna. ;)

anna tambour said...

No thanks needed. I expect you to keep aweing us with your stories, or there'll be hell to pay — a hell you don't get to say what.