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Interview: Marc Laidlaw on “Wetherfell’s Reef Runics”

Marc LaidlawTell us a bit about “Weatherfell’s Reef Runics.”

This is the first of what I hope will be more than one story about Castaway Books, a small used bookshop on the fictitious island of Tauai. Fictitious, but based loosely on an alternate history version of Kauai. Kauai and “Tauai” diverged at some point for historical reasons I will get into eventually, having to do with a colorful historical figure named Georg Scheffer.



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

I have been spending more and more time on Kauai, and wanted to write something that drew on a lot of things I enjoy, but especially books and the sea. Kauai’s north shore lacks a bookstore, but there are book carts everywhere, with books for sale for a couple bucks to raise funds for the schools and the library. I started noticing that many tourists bring good books with them for the plane flight, but then dump them to make room in their luggage for the return trip, so I was finding a lot of interesting books in these carts. I started thinking about how an island which attracts visitors from all over the world might be kind of an interesting energy vortex, where all kinds of odds and ends wash up, and this led to wondering if I could write a series of stories about the strange books that blow in like driftwood or tsunami debris.


What kind of research, if any, did you do for this story?

I snorkeled and raided the book carts. Most of the books mentioned in the story are ones I found on a visit to the island. Well, except for the titular Wetherfell volume, which, if it ever existed, has been removed from circulation.


What are you working on now?

I’ve got notes and ideas for more Castaway Books stories, I’m finishing up my adventures of Gorlen Vizenfirthe, and thinking about what to do next.


“Wetherfell’s Reef Runics” appears in the January/February 2017 issue of F&SF.

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If you click on Mr. Laidlaw’s picture at the top of the interview, you’ll be taken to his website.


One Response to “Interview: Marc Laidlaw on “Wetherfell’s Reef Runics””

  1. Castaway Books: A Brief Interview - Marc Laidlaw on January 19th, 2017

    […] The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction often runs brief interviews with its authors regarding their latest stories. Here is the one I just did regarding “Wetherfell’s Reef Runics.” […]

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