I’ve always been fascinated by animal bridegroom stories: East of the Sun, West of the Moon, Beauty and the Beast, selkie tales. Perhaps simply because they’ve inspired so much lovely artwork?
I want to walk into those images. So I write stories as a way of living inside them for a while.
Also, the stories have a lot of nooks and crannies to explore. In the selkie tales – what would it feel like to swim the ocean as a seal? What would it feel like to have a second skin, one you could remove? What would it feel like to emerge from the ocean and begin to live on land?
Those are the tangible questions, but one might raise other questions. Does the guy love the girl he’s captured? If so, why does he hide her skin, an actual piece of her that she’ll surely miss? If the skin is the thing that captivated him to begin with, does he still love her once she no longer has it? And does she love him? If not, why does it take her so long to locate that skin? Yet once she finds it, she leaves him.
For me, answering difficult questions is a great reason to write a story.