Maria Haskins: “A Strange Heart, Set in Feldspar”

Author Maria Haskins shares the story behind her story, “A Strange Heart, Set in Feldspar,” from Abandoned Places:

“I grew up in northern Sweden and I still go back to visit family pretty much every year in the summer. This story was partly inspired by a visit to a small, abandoned mine in Varutr√§sk outside Skellefte√•. It’s sort of a tourist attraction now, and it’s not as big or as devious as the mine in my story, but it’s out in the woods in an area you wouldn’t really expect a mine to be located. That part of northern Sweden is sparsely populated and there are lots of small, forgotten places you can find yourself where you feel as though you’re a million miles from the rest of the world. It’s also a story about the complex emotions of parenthood, and that’s something I’ve realized crops up in many of my stories: any parent can tell you there are times when no matter how much you love your kids, you just need a break from them needing you so much. So that percolates in the story too. Amazingly for me, this was a story when I came up with a pretty good title even before I had the story. Usually, I have a lot of trouble thinking up good titles, but this one came to me when I first started thinking about the mine as a setting for the story, and I loved the title so much that it fuelled my imagination for what happens. Not a common occurrence for me, though I wish it were!”

Abandoned Places hits stores on 03/09 and is available for preorder more or less everywhere.