eSpec Books interviews Hildy Silverman, contributor to the anthology Horns and Halos edited by John L. French and Danielle Ackley-McPhail, which is currently funding on Kickstarter.

eSB: Please tell us a little something of your story.

HS: My story is the latest in a series of shorts featuring a mermaid with a bionic tail who works for an international agency that maintains the balance between the mer and mankind (an homage to The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman series from the 1970s).  In this story, she is tasked with figuring out why “sea demons” – kaiju-like beasts – have begun erupting out of the depths to wreak havoc. She and her team have to find whoever is controlling them, deduce their motives, and stop them before it is too late for sea and surface-dwellers alike.

eSB: Angels and Devils are a common theme in fiction. How did you make yours stand out? How much of a challenge was it?

HS: It was definitely a challenge! I wanted to delve into something other than the usual pantheons of angels and demons, plus I had to tie the story to the theme of the anthology while still making it work with my mer character and her world. Fortunately, my research uncovered the Mesopotamian stories of gods and their demons, and with a little tweaking I was able to make it work.

eSB: Is your story based on a particular lore or legend, or did you take the broad concept and run with it?

HS: It is based on the myth of Tiamat, goddess of the salt sea and her husband, Abzu, god of fresh water. The basics of the original story, in which Abzu is killed by their god-children and in turn Tiamat spawns a new crop of demon-children to kill them in retaliation, remain intact… I just tweaked here and there to make it fit into the story I wanted to tell.

eSB: Is your story set in an existing universe or fresh and new for this collection?

HS: It is an existing universe established in three previous stories about the bionic mermaid, all of which can be found in other anthologies from John French: Mermaids 13, With Great Power, and Camelot 13.

eSB: Are your characters here ones that you plan to revisit?

HS: Oh, yes. I’m sure I’ll have many more stories about the bionic mermaid! I’d love to get enough together to put out a collection of just her tales (pun intended) someday!

eSB: Is this your first time writing for a themed anthology, or have you done so before? What draws you to such projects?

HS: I almost exclusively write for themed anthologies. I like them – its like receiving a different writing exercise/challenge each time to have to fit a story to a particular theme.

eSB: What devilish thing have you done as an author?

HS: Oh, dear. I do write a lot of horror, so I’ve done some pretty bad things to characters… only on the written page, of course. I had a small child eat an abusive babysitter in one story – that was probably the worst so far!

eSB: What angelic thing have you done as an author?

HS: I don’t know how angelic it is, but I’m proudest of participating in an anthology where all the proceeds went to supporting the ACLU earlier this year.

eSB: What are some of your other works readers can look for?

HS: Right now, I have stories out in two recently released anthologies: The Dystopian States of America (Bechtel, ed.) and Bad Ass Moms (Fan, ed.). These are available through and various other outlets.

Hildy Silverman

For just over a decade, Hildy Silverman was the publisher of Space and Time, a five-decade-old magazine of fantasy, horror, and science fiction. She is now focused on her own writing and frequently contributes short fiction to anthologies. Please visit her Amazon Author’s page.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s