Brian Lumley: The Changeling

lumleyderby1Brian Lumley talks Jack and the Beanstalk, the triumph of Good, and the sea.

THE SUN WAS beginning to set as I finned lazily into the shallows, thrust my speargun before me and laid it to rest in six inches of still  water, then turned over and sat facing the sea. Removing my facemask, snorkel and fins, I tossed them onto the fine yellow sand at the water’s edge behind me. I wasn’t at all concerned that my things might drift off, carried away by a wave and lost to the current; for this was the so-called ‘tideless’ sea – the Mediterranean – and I couldn’t possibly lose my gear to surf or current on an evening as calm and still as this one, when the only ripples worth mentioning were the ones I had left in my wake, only now catching up with me and beginning to lap at the beach.

1. What is the fairy tale you remember most from your childhood ? the one that made the biggest impression on you?
Jack and the Beanstalk.

2. Is there a natural link, do you think, between fairy tales and horror?
Yes, but the difference is that in fairy tales Good always triumphs.

FT13. Does your work usually play with fairy tale elements or is this a first for you?
I’ve never consciously employed a fairy tale element.

4. What do you think the fairy tale form offers to writers and readers?|
Very little … there aren’t that many fairy tales.

5. What is your favourite fairy tale trope/motif/element/character with which to work?
The sea, which I’ve always found vast and mysterious, and even otherworldly. If I hadn’t been a solder and then a writer, I would have probably become an oceanographer.


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