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Interview: Moira Crone on “The Lion Wedding”

-  Tell us a bit about “The Lion Wedding.”

I am fond of modern writers who reimagine fairy tales. I wanted to try it. Angela Carter and Isak Dinesen are heroines of mine.

- What was the inspiration for this story, or what prompted you to write it?

I had a vivid dream about a woman and a lion. I saw her running after him through the woods, finding dead leaves in the bed, dealing with carcasses in the kitchen. A friend told me of a zoo that bought retired circus animals. The chimpanzees scrounged for cigarette butts; the elephants had anger, guile, attitude. They were jaded. I liked that sense of how human company had given them a certain personality.

- Was “The Lion Wedding” personal for you in any way? If so, how?

I have a therapist who uses dreams to explore deep feelings, to show you the myths inside your life. At first, the ending of the story was a mish-mash, a battle. I didn’t believe the wife could change, and then, one day, it was as if I saw the real potential in the tale, the way she had to emerge. I have been writing from my dreams more and more. My novel, THE NOT YET, also started with one.

- What would you want a reader to take away from this story?

I want readers to wonder if individuals ever know their true nature.

- What are you working on now?

THE ICE GARDEN, a novel, is coming out in September 2014, from Carolina Wren Press— I’m editing at the moment. It’s about an eleven-year-old girl struggling with her mother’s madness. I have stories I’m finishing in order to send out. I am writing notes for two other novels, one set on an island after a plague, one during the Civil Rights era.

- Anything else you’d like to add?

At a writer’s retreat this summer in Krakow, Poland. I’ll teach World-building, Secrets of the Short Story, and Writing from Dreams. There’s a Vampires, and Medieval Lore Tour. A magical place to work and to share. F&SF readers welcome. http://burlesquepressllc.com/poland

“The Lion Wedding” appears in the Jan./Feb. 2014 issue of F&SF.

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