Jennifer Lee Rossman’s Other People’s Tsunamis is the first story you will see when you open The Dancing Plague. “An autistic witch finds themselves caught up in a whirlwind of chaotic cause and effect when they try to prove they have what it takes to join the elite witches in their office.” Rossman’s unique and engaging voice is a powerful introduction to our fourth collection of utter speculation.
What made you decide to write a story for The Dancing Plague: A collection of Utter speculation?
To be honest, I don’t really remember. I guess it just sounded like an interesting idea to play around with.
How did you formulate your theory? How much did you rely on research?
At first, I didn’t have a theory, or even a basic plot idea. So I literally googled “Songs about dancing” and found my inspiration in “What A Feeling” and “Maniac” from that Flashdance. The story itself is loosely inspired by the plot to the movie (very loosely, because I’ve never actually seen the movie).
I did a lot of research on things that probably no one will notice lol. For example, I found out that Strasbourg manufactures steel, like the “steel town” mentioned in the lyrics of “Maniac.” And the cathedral I mention is an actual building still standing in the town.
(This is such a cool connection)
Do you think your speculation could be a feasible explanation for the plague or were you just telling a good story?
I was mostly just telling a good story. In order for it to be a feasible explanation, the magic system invented would also have to exist. However, if we assume magic and/or time travel does exist, it makes as much sense as anything else, I guess.
What are you reading right now?
“Run With The Hunted” by Jennifer R. Donohue and “Spectacular Silver Earthling” by Mara Lynn Johnstone.
What other projects are you working on? Where can we look for you next?
I’m co-editing “Mighty: An Anthology Of Disabled Superheroes” with Emily Gillespie for Renaissance Press. We’re open for submissions until November 15, and we would love to read stories from anyone who is disabled, neurodiverse, mentally ill, manages chronic illness, or counts spoons!
I’m also going to have a story in “Bioluminescent,” which is the first ever lunarpunk anthology. This is extra exciting to me because one of the other authors is Neil Gaiman!
Jennifer Lee Rossman’s science fantasy novel, Jack Jetstark’s Intergalactic Freakshow, is available from World Weaver Press , and they are the co-editor of the anthologies Love & Bubbles with Jaylee James, and Space Opera Libretti with Brian McNett.