Emily Cataneo

When I was a child, I loved nothing more than reading stories about girls who had adventures. Laura Ingalls Wilder’s journey west in Little House on the Prairie, Bonnie’s and Sylvia’s daring escape from their evil governess in The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, Persephone’s kidnapping by Hades in the D’Aulaires Book of Greek Myths–all of these galvanized my bored, fevered imagination. After all, I was an only child who grew up on the edge of a forest in a small town, and I needed fodder for the games I played with my toys and with the similarly-minded girls who were my friends. It was only a small leap to taking those flights of fancy and setting them down in a notebook.

I never stopped writing down said flights of fancy in notebooks, and as an adult writer, I found myself drawn to writing literary-genre stories about girls and women navigating worlds of magic, ghosts, and fairytales. I’m fascinated by this seam between literary and genre fiction, by the aesthetic and narrative possibilities of writing tales that straddle these two traditions, and by the political possibilities of writing stories about women taking ownership of magic or subverting the roles traditionally assigned to them in stories. Plus, on a more visceral level, these stories simply play to my imagination and excite me, just like the books I read when I was young.