Sara Codair lives in a world of words. Writing is like breathing; they can’t live without it. Books are food and equally important. Even their day job involves reading and writing. Sara teaches and tutors writing at a Northern Essex Community College. When not consumed with words, they enjoy hiking, swimming, and trying to make food grow. They live with Goose, a cat who likes to “edit” their work by deleting entire pages and a dog who makes sure they don’t spend too much time on the computer. Their debut novel, Power Surge, will be published on Oct. 1, 2018.
Sara Codair wrote "You Won't Believe How This Creature Changed Their Lives!" in issue 1 of Vulture Bones. Below is an interview about their adorable short story.
“You Won’t Believe How This Creature Changed Their Lives!” is written like a kind of human interest news clip. The format is as much a part of the story as the characters. Did it evolve into this, or was it always in this format?
The story was always in this format. Once upon a time when print news was still a profitable thing, I worked as a freelance reporter for local newspapers. I’ve been noticing how things like click-bait and an excess of “news” websites have been changing journalism and wanted to explore that with a piece of speculative fiction. I thought about what kind of news article might appear in the world of one of my novels-in-progress and started this story, trying to blend elements of old-fashioned journalism with some modern click-bait.
You pack so much worldbuilding into such a short piece! Tell me a little about your writing process and your worldbuilding process.
The world building was a little easier for this than other stories because it takes place in the same universe as a novel I am working on. I had the rules of magic, the political structure, education structure and even international relations fresh in my head from preparing to write the novel. I was very immersed in the world, so I was able to pretend I was a newsreporter living in that world.
If I backtrack to how I built the world for the novel, it actually started with work. I wanted to take a concept of a magical school, like Hogwarts or Brakebills, but take it out of the boarding school model and put it in an urban community college like the one I work. A mix of lists, scenes, chapters and short stories led me to create this world. I still haven’t finished the novel, but this is the second short story I’ve sold in this universe.
Where can people find more of your work? What’s coming next?
I have a list of publications on my website, https://saracodair.com/, as well as book reviews, recipes, and micro fiction. My two most recent publications were in Once Upon a Rainbow 2 and Unnverving Magazine Issue 5. My novel, Power Surge, is coming out in October. Follow me on twitter @shatteredsmooth for updates.