Kayla is a disabled Jewish writer, cosplayer, and general artsy weirdo living in Western Massachusetts with their fiance and cat. Their SFF fandom destiny was sealed the day their parents met at a science fiction convention, and only encouraged by a steady childhood diet of Ursula K. LeGuin, Babylon 5, and Rankin-Bass animation. Themes of identities and how the world shapes, reacts to, and interacts with them run through much of their work, both written and otherwise. They hope that others will find as much meaning and delight in their work as they have in creating it.
Kayla Scheiner wrote "Howard Was a Dingus" in issue 1 of Vulture Bones. Below is an interview about their excellent, and surprisingly funny, story.
One thing I loved about “Howard Was A Dingus” was this idea that all of reality—even these huge unknown forces—are facing a moment where they have to unlearn the “default” perspective of Random White Dude. Can you talk a little about how the story developed?
A little while ago I saw a couple people quip that all the actual horror in Lovecraft's work comes from the main character – a white dude – realizing that the world doesn't actually revolve around him and that people who aren't white dudes exist (though that's unsurprising for someone as racist as he was). But all this is just normal, everyday reality for most of us. So what would happen if someone with that type of experience was confronted with one of Lovecraft's eldritch horrors? How would a creature from beyond space and time react to a completely different type of human? This was my brain's answer.
I loved the reveal at the end that the mysterious book was found while geocaching. Did you start with the magic book first, or the idea of this kind of modern quest seeking?
The creature itself came first! From there, well, any self-respecting cosmic horror is summoned via Ancient Lore, which of course you'd stumble upon during an otherwise completely innocuous quest.
Where can people find more of your work? What’s coming next?
I'm proud to say that Vulture Bones my first publication venue, though if anyone wants to read my mildly-rambly thoughts about politics, SFF, and gender, plus complaints about the weather making my joints hurt, I'm on Twitter @Sudenveri. As for what's coming next, hopefully a lot! I'd like to keep sharing all the weird shit that lives in my head with the world.