“Two Pies out of One Pan,” by Thea Hutcheson, appears in Stolen by the Fae, the 6th volume in the anthology series A Procession of Faeries.
Why do you think the mythology of the changeling, in which the Fae steal a human and replace it with one of their own kind, is so intriguing to people?
I think clearly it relates to kids who have problems. It’s an answer to the why things happen situation. I hate to say it, but we were brutish back then, in the face of ignorance of illness and physiological issues and superstition and fear of the unknown or different. Saying that these kids were not people, opened the door to all the terrible things they did to those “changelings”. “We had to get rid of it,” was the common refrain. “It wasn’t a human baby (It was a fae baby or an ancient fae wanting to be cared for in their sunset years). They stole our baby. We will make this fake one pay.”
Is there a recurring theme that appears in your writing? If so, what is it, and why do you think it keeps appearing?
I blank on these kinds of questions because I am not consciously aware of themes when I write. I just write the story. I let readers find themes in what I write. I will say I am against hatred, ignorance, and violence, so I was very happy when I found the tale that formed the basis for this story and I was able to utilize it to reflect my personal arc toward love, acceptance, and inclusivity.
Is there a fairy tale that you really enjoy, or which has stuck with you? If so, which one—and what do you find compelling about this particular story?
I love Puss in Boots. He is such a scammer and he uses the miller’s son to get what he wants, getting the miller’s son a pretty good deal in the bargain. No body really gets hurt and the Miller’s son, who was pretty smart, but just needed some direction, got a leg up.
What aspect do you like most about your story in Stolen by the Fae, and why?
I have touched on it above. Carol wanted a baby and she stepped outside of her society’s conventions to get it. She protected her child fiercely, even against her own husband. She didn’t do it for a reward or anything. She did it because he was her child and that is what mothers do. Or should do. She is a strong woman who had desires and worked to get them, but didn’t compromise her ethics or morals to do it. I suppose, when I think about it, if I have a theme, it’s women working toward what they want and need and suffering through the epiphanies and the costs those wants and needs entail.
What are you working on now, and what’s fun about what you’re writing?
I am writing a series of urban fairy tales. There are six novels set in Denver starting just after World War II. They have rich world building and wide ranging magical practices. Each fairy tale has a spicy romantic subtheme and features straight, menage a trois, gay, and lesbian characters. I love working out how the fairy tale fits into the general arc of the community and how the characters deal with the tropes they discover they are working through. Each novel has a follow on bonus short story that showcases a character. These are fun to do because they won’t always behave and be short stories. I end up with extra novels and still have to write the follow on short story. The next one, I am pretty sure, is going to be another novel given the story kernel, which means, I will still have to write a short story in that super fun magical community after I finish it. Darn it!
Thea Hutcheson’s story in Realms of Fantasy’s 100th issue prompted Lois Tilton of Locus to say her work “is sensual, fertile, with seed quickening on every page. Well done…” She has appeared in such publications as Hot Blood XI, Fatal Attractions, Baen’s Universe Issue 4, Vol. 1, Amazing Monster Tales: It Came From Outer Space, Nuns with Guns, Water Faeries, and several of the critically acclaimed Fiction River anthologies.
She lives in an unscenic, nearly historic small city in Colorado with a thousand books, four rescued cats and one understanding housemate. When she’s not working diligently as a Planning Commissioner to change that, she writes, and fills the time between bouts at the computer as a factotum and an event planner.