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Interview: Sarina Dorie on “Impossible Male Pregnancy: Click to Read Full Story”

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

There never is one piece of inspiration for any story that I write.

I had been reading about genetic chimera before I wrote this. I then started thinking about how one side of the body could be female and the other side male and how that person would be both genders. While writing this story I had a friend who was pregnant who referred to the fetus as her parasite, so that also influenced this story. Another friend had tried to adopt a child and had to jump through a lot of hoops to adopt, but I ended up cutting out that part of the story.

Previously I used to work at an advertising agency, and I wrote the copy for people’s blogposts, trying to come up with the most clickbait-like titles possible. This inspired me to write flash fiction serial stories like “Clickbait for Paranormals,” which was published in Daily Science Fiction. I was having a lot of fun with the idea of clickbait, and I liked the idea of this story being told as clickbait.

Lastly, it’s hard to write a male pregnancy story without thinking about the movie Junior with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito. I was very conscious of that influence but trying hard not to go in the same place that they went.


Was “Impossible Male Pregnancy…” personal to you in any way?  If so, how?

When I was in college, one of the students in my art class painted a person in a scene for an advertisement and everyone in the class thought it looked like him, but he denied that he had tried to make it look like himself. The teacher said, “Every portrait is a self-portrait.” That stuck with me over the years. I don’t think I can make any piece not about some life experience I have. The stories that are the strongest are the ones that a reader can connect to emotionally and it is easiest to do that through personal experiences.

Sometimes writers subconsciously put their lives into their stories without realizing it. Though, I think I was pretty conscious of my own views on children and life experiences as I wrote this.


Can you tell us about any of the research you may have done for this story?

Prior to writing this I read an article about a crime committed by someone whose DNA on the left side of the body didn’t match the DNA of the right side of the body because their body had absorbed their twin while in the fetus and the investigators thought the crime must have been committed by a twin or sibling because the DNA was close but not a match. While writing this story I went back and did research on chimeras as well as research on clickbait titles.


What was the most difficult aspect of writing “Impossible Male Pregnancy…” and what was the most fun?

The part that was the most fun was the clickbait. The part that was difficult was also the clickbait. At first, I thought I was writing a serial story broken up and told in separate segments, but that didn’t work because each section didn’t have its own arc or a cliffhanger ending. I wanted to intersperse the clickbait titles like one would with chapter titles or at scene breaks, but sometimes it was hard figuring out how to organize the story using the clickbait.


Who do you consider to be your influences?

I think my love of science fiction and fantasy is influenced by my love of Star Trek, Star Wars, Tolkien, Anne McCaffrey, Twilight Zone, and The Outer Limits. I think the humorous tone in my stories are influenced by the banter and comedic tone of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Dresden Files, Sookie Stackhouse, and Carl Hiaasen’s quirky fiction books. In general, I have a love of the classics: Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, Pride and Prejudice, and I am sure the relationships in my stories are often influenced by books the classics that I am drawn to again and again.


What are you working on now?

I am very excited about the series I am working on now: Womby’s School for Wayward Witches. The ninth book is about to be released on Amazon. I love writing titles and most of the books have titles related to school and/or witchcraft like: Budget Cuts for the Dark Arts and Crafts or Reading, Writing and Necromancy.

Womby's School for Wayward WitchesThe premise behind the series: You think you know the world of magical boarding schools. Not from a teacher’s perspective at a school for at-risk youth.

I get to use a lot of my real-world knowledge in this series, drawing on my experience as a public-school art teacher as well include as my love of fairies and witches. When I read Harry Potter, I was in college. I wasn’t a kid who daydreamed about my owl coming to invite me to be a student at Hogwarts. I was a student teacher who wanted to be rescued from this Muggle world of budget cuts and hours of curriculum planning for ungrateful teenagers who threw spit wads at me and be invited to teach at a magical school.

A good way to find out about my series is to go to Amazon, my website, or sign up for my newsletter on my website to get updates, hear about days stories are free or on sale on Amazon, or to get free short stories.


“Impossible Male Pregnancy: Click to Read Full Story” appears in the September/October 2018 issue of F&SF.

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Click on the author photo to visit Sarina Dorie’s website and learn more about her work:



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