Fae Visions of the Mediterranean is a new anthology featuring twenty-four stories and poems of horror and wonder of the sea. Among these stories is Vladimira Becić’s “Kod Kose i Sata”—translated as “The Scythe and the Hourglass” and published in both Croatian and English versions—an oneiric, mythical allegory of writing challenges and haunted houses. We asked Vladimira a few questions about her work.
After a career as a military psychologist, Vladimira Becić started writing on a bet (which she lost). Her published works include a YA vampire novel Orsia and a number of short stories, mostly in the fantasy genre. This is her first English publication.
TFF: “Kod Kose i Sata” reads like a Borgesian take on a dark folktale—postmodern allegory meets atavistic beliefs. What did the story mean for you?
Vladimira Becić: I thought it would be interesting to put together a real place surrounded by stories of being haunted with a non-existing, actually haunted place as is the case with “The Scythe and the Hourglass”.
What sort of a connection do you feel with the Mediterranean Sea itself?
As someone who grew up on the seaside, I am firmly in the camp of those who say, sea is beautiful, land is reliable.
If you could meet the Talason of your house, what would you ask her/him?
I would ask what the moment of transition from a human soul to a house-protecting soul looks like.
Would you dare be a guest at "The Scythe and the Hourglass"?
On good days, when writing is easy, I wouldn't hesitate for a second. Otherwise, I'd have to think twice.
Are the vampires in your novel Orsia dusty castle-dwelling predators, super cool red-eyed assassins, or sparkly-skinned, sulky teens?
Orsian vampires live in a subterranean, not in the least dusty city under Zagreb, and they are more entrepreneurs and businessmen than assassins. Their teenagers are insufferable, though, like all teenagers are—especially when they come up with plans that turn the whole of Orsia upside-down.
What is your favourite (real or literary) sea creature and why?
Octopus. Because they are smart and they look totally cool and unreal, like fairy-tale characters.
What is under your bed?
Ghouls that are yet to get their place in the attic.
Where else can fans of your work find stories of yours to read? Anything in the pipeline?
Most of my previously published stories and articles can be found at vladimira-becic.com. I am currently working on several projects, most of which connect my current main interests: psychology, writing, languages and music.
Thank you, Vladimira!
Vladimira Becić’s “The Scythe and the Hourglass” can be found in Fae Visions of the Mediterranean.