A huge welcome to Scottish speculative writer, Lorraine Wilson! Welcome to the Luna family!
Lorraine's speculative novel, This Is Our Undoing, will be published by Luna Press in 2022. For a small press, an open submission window is a huge deal: you have to manage the submissions as they come, read them, take forth some authors and regrettably say goodbye to others; the time pressure is considerable, given that the press continues its daily business and general schedule, and so does life. However, we keep on doing it, because we get to discover amazing stories, just waiting to be told.
With a PhD in conservation biology, Lorraine studied various obscure and wonderful animals worldwide before turning to writing. Her short stories/CNR have been published in (amongst others) Arcturus, Anti-Heroin Chic, Boudicca Press, Cabinet of Heed, Ellipsis, Forge Lit, Geometry, The Mechanics’ Institute Review, Retreat West, and Terse, with a Runner-Up place in the Writers’ & Artists’ Short Story Comp 2019 and a Longlisting in the Hinterland Non-Fiction Prize 2019. Another novel is currently longlisted in the Bath Novel Comp and the Penguin WriteNow programme.
Rooted in the forests and folklore of Eastern Europe, where she has lived and worked, This Is Our Undoing asks what choices we can make in a broken society, and who we might become when the people we love are threatened.
From Lorraine, on This Is Our Undoing
When I started writing This Is Our Undoing, the UK had recently voted for Brexit and the US had elected Trump, Asia was enduring a devastating heatwave and the Arctic ocean was warmer than it had ever been. I found myself attempting to process my own powerlessness in the face of events that were breaking my heart, and from there, trying to define what power I did have. Can I alone do anything that will make a difference? It’s an important question I think, today even more than it was then. It was this that became the central theme of this story – how do you hold onto the light when the world is growing dark?
The setting of the book felt perfectly suited to this theme. I wanted to explore a potential future but in the claustrophobia of complete isolation, and I wanted the wilderness. In folklore worldwide, forests and mountains are the unknown at the edge of civilisation, the home of Little Red Ridinghood’s wolf and Scotland’s bean sidhe, Slavic leshy and dragons. I’ve lived and worked in the boreal forests of Eastern Europe and Russia, and they are Forests with a capital F – entities that have a presence and resonance beyond the ordinary. I wanted that in this story, but I also see them as standing in contrast to the world beyond, a reminder of wonder and beauty.
This Is Our Undoing is my attempt to discover the power of love and hope in a world where both are increasingly hard to find. In the face of disempowerment, power is in the small things; the choice made, the lone voice, the comforted child. To go into the forest and breathe. To be kind to the lost.
Lorraine lives by the sea in Scotland, writing speculative fiction set in the wilderness and heavily influenced by folklore. She is fascinated by the way both mythology and our relationship with the natural world act as mirrors of ourselves and lenses for how we view others, and with a heritage best described as a product of the British Empire, she is drawn to themes of family, trauma, and belonging. After gaining a PhD in behavioural ecology from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland she spent several years as a conservation researcher in odd corners of the world before turning to writing. She has been stalked by wolves, caught the bubonic plague, and once had a tree frog called ‘Algernon’ who lived in her sink.
She has published short fiction and non-fiction in anthologies by Boudicca Press, Ellipsis Zine, The Mechanics’ Institute Review and Retreat West, amongst others; and magazines including Anti-Heroin Chic, Cabinet of Heed, The Forge, Geometry and Terse Journal.
We are excited to bring you this new story! Once again, welcome to the family, Lorraine!