Today, The Future Fire Assistant Editor Tracie Welser talks to Eve Shi about her story in Fox Spirit Books' Asian Monsters.
Eve Shi is an Indonesian fangirl and writer. She loves tea, singing to herself, and has lived most of her life in the West Java Province. You can contact Eve via Twitter at @Eve_Shi.
I really enjoyed “Blood Like Water.” Can you tell me about the impetus for this story?
I wanted to base my story on a creature that’s neither very well-known nor associated with women or sexuality. On research, I came upon lelepah, a creature that's usually found by the river. It eats raw fish but supposedly also has a penchant for human flesh. What if the creature transforms into a human? And the story just went on from there.
The main character of this story is an innocent-seeming girl with a dark secret, and I couldn't resist imagining future Wiya as a young woman with all-new troubles fitting in. One of your other recent stories, “The Skin Shimmers”, also features someone who is not what she seems. What is it about the duality of these figures that you find appealing?
Society often expects women to be sweet and compliant, while many of them are the farthest thing from that. Plus, I always like monstrous women – those who wreak havoc, and especially those who are not out to seduce men. So I combined the above into the two stories.
A central theme of the story seems to be vengeance. Is this a common element in legends of the monstrous lelepah?
It isn't. It's something I thought up when exploring the idea's possibilities. If a human couple adopts the lelepah, what would it do for them in return? Does it do so out of a sense of obligation, or is there something else?
What other creative projects are you working on that readers can look forward to?
In English, nothing that will be published soon. In Indonesian: I'm working on a novella for a thriller series. Can't wait to see who the other authors are.