After winning the BBC Wildlife Young Poet of the Year award, E H Timms eventually branched out into writing prose as well, with a particular focus on fantasy and a fondness for looking at old stories from new angles. They have a number of short stories published, as well as a children's novel and a poetry collection. They now live in SW England with far too many books and a computer tethered to their elbow.
E H Timms wrote "Pasta al Memoir" in issue 1 of Vulture Bones. Below is an interview about their awesome story.
I love the brilliance of a cook-mage, and the interweaving of the recipe, magic, and the narrative itself. In the writing, did all three of these elements come together organically? Did the cooking come first, and then the magic? Did you have the germ of the narrative always underpinning it?
Something about the way mind control magic can so easily turn dark has always intrigued me. When I came across a prompt to combine food with a dark story, it came to mind again. I took inspiration from other stories that combine food and magic, combined it with the way even mundane food can evoke memories, and then twisted it a little.
This is very squarely Jaye’s story, and a story of survival. She is both the hero of the story, forcing her family to a reckoning with what she’s been through, but she’s doing so in such a brutal way. But I understand why. Can you talk about where this story comes from?
Like Jaye, I'm an abuse survivor, and over the last couple of years I've seen a lot of behavior patterns that I'm all too familiar with showing up in the top levels of politics. I've also encountered people who go out of their way to insist that there is nothing wrong about such behavior simply because there is no single, large, obvious, problem to point at. Jaye's story was born out of a mix of reawakened memories and a sense of frustration at not being able to explain the patterns clearly enough for others to understand.
Where can people find more of your work? What’s coming next?
I keep a list of my available work on my blog, for anyone who wants to read more: http://thinkingthinking123.blogspot.co.uk/p/blog-page.html
There is flash fiction going up on my Patreon around the second Monday of each month, and I'm currently revising a YA novel about an aro ace farmgirl learning to thrive and rebel under a controlling regime, but I don't a yet have a date for it.