Can you tell us how the idea for ”The Sweetest Source” came about?
I wanted to do a story that had a joyful, positive spirit for once. Usually, I like to tell dark stories, so it was a nice change. The idea itself came from my attempt at finding “the source” of a powerful, positive feeling. I thought of and gathered things that have been good in my life, and my mother was top of the list. Programming, magic, and just the art of storytelling itself were some others that made the cut. The rest was just fusing these together.
In the opening scene, you treat us to a delightful glimpse of our protagonist, Deron. In such a short span, you reveal his tech skills, bravery, and empathy. Can you tell us about how his character developed during the writing process?
Deron started out as “a good kid with a lot of energy.” I originally intended for him to learn how to program as the story progressed, but that didn’t seem like the story that wanted to be told. I realized that he was already quite smart, already good with tech, and he was ready for something bigger.
When Rabbit tricks Deron into choosing the immediate candy reward instead of waiting, this is an important foreshadowing of events to come. What lesson does Deron learn here?
Deron, like plenty of kids, can be impulsive. Getting tricked by Rabbit teaches him patience and to sometimes resist acting before thinking things over. It’s a lesson that helped me tremendously in life, especially in school. Look before you leap, as the elders would say.
Can you tell us about the moment, near the end, when Deron discovers what really makes his mom happy?
Deron discovering what really makes his mother happy is an interesting moment. I think children sometimes believe that deeds are what matter most to their parents. Stuff like making good grades. So I thought it was nice to just bask in the idea that a person simply existing and living is enough for the parent.
What are you working on now, and what can we look forward to seeing from you in the future?
I’m buried in stories. Please send help. My main project is a dark fantasy novel that combines Black experiences, weird monsters, tricky magic, and other fun things like that. But I have other tales that I hope to share much sooner.
Spread the word!