Eos Quarterly: Alexis Henderson

As Helios Quarterly will release four times a year, I wanted a way to stay engaged with the readers and still promote writers on the margins especially. With the submission of a wonderful piece by a woman of color, Eos•Quarterly was born.

Eos, goddess of dawn and sister to Helios and Selene, will be a dedicated space to share stories up to 2,500 words, art, photography, and longer poetry. The authors, artists, photographers, and poets will exclusively be people of color, women, disabled people, LGBTQIA, writers 40+, religious minorities, veterans, and or so on. Every story will also have an accompanying interview with the author/poet.

The submissions window will be concurrent with Helios and picked out of the slush pile to be featured on the web in February, May, August, and November. Payment is $0.03USD for the first 1,500 words and $0.01USD after for short stories, $0.25USD a line for poetry, and discussed beforehand for artists and photographers.

Night of the Lurking Moon by Alexis Henderson tells the story of Hala and her brother, moon children who confront their history, magic, and a distant enemy called the Witch King. As it hit on the theme of Miscommunication, and offered a segue to RE_ACTED, it’s a perfect example of the sorts of liminal and diverse stories I’d like to feature. It will ideally set the tone for future releases. Below, please find an interview and look forward to the full story on Monday.

1. First, tell us a little about yourself. When did you want to become an author? What inspires you to do what you do? Who are you?

I’m a writing tutor and senior in college. I’ve wanted to become an author ever since I finished my first (terrible) novel at age twelve. I find that I’m very inspired by the complicated, and at times frightening, nature of human beings.

2. What are some quirky and or unique aspects about you and your art?

Music is a huge part of my writing process. I can’t write without it and I usually create extensive playlists for each of my works. Over the course of the ten years I’ve been drafting novels and short stories I’ve acquired a collection of about two-hundred movie scores and soundtracks. My iTunes wish list is endless.

3. Eos is “the place in-between genre and form. A place dedicated to diversity and the dawn of equal representation in the arts.” What does the mean to you?

I interpret that statement as a pointed act of remediation, that seeks to celebrate needed diversity and establish equality through art and expression, something I feel is vitally important.

4. What do you think makes a great story? How do you think your piece Night of the Lurking Moon fits into or varies from that description?

I think a great story is one that demands a sort of exchange or dialogue between the reader and the text. I think great stories force readers to invest themselves, in some small way. With Night of the Lurking Moon I tried to achieve this dynamic by creating a story that both captures the reader, and challenges them to invest themselves emotionally. I really wanted Hala’s story to stay with them, the way it’s stayed with me. I think that’s another thing that makes a story great, a sense of longevity or timelessness that I’m always striving (and often failing) to achieve.

5. How has writing affected your outlook on things? Has it made you take chances or see things in a different light?

I think writing has made me a more compassionate person. When I develop a character whose opinions or experiences are different than my own it forces me to adopt and explore alternate perspectives and, ultimately, change my outlook and view the world differently.

6. Do you have anything major coming up in the near future? Ex). A new book, workshops, or an exhibit At the moment

I’m in the final stages of editing my novel (tentatively titled Beyond the Blackwood) and I’m hoping to begin my first round of queries in the fall, which is exciting.

7. Finally, do you have any advice and or tips for aspiring artist, poets, and writers out there who come from diverse and or marginalized backgrounds?

I think it’s important to understand that you don’t need to assimilate in order to be successful or marketable. Write your own truths, tell your own stories, and don’t waste time worrying about how to write for the masses. Write for yourself.

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