SS: How did you become like this, were you born perversely imaginative or have you evolved that way?
LL: I don’t consider my imagination to be perverse in any way – it is what it is, much like the imagination of most artists. I think many, if not all, artists and creative types are – to steal from Lady Gaga – born this way. But imagination also evolves, depending on upbringing and circumstance. So it’s a little of both.
SS: Actually, I meant ‘perversely’ as in the sense of departing from the expected and accepted norms of what is required.
I have recently become interested in Steampunk. It seems to me to be grounded in very solid, quality ideals of workmanship – somewhat like the multitude of artefacts that clutter and inspire its culture. What is central to your interest in it?
LL: Although I love the costumes and designs that are coming out of the steampunk movement, my main interest is novels and short fiction written with elements of steampunk set in fantastical, non-Victorian (and often non-white dominant) cultures and worlds, or steampunk mashups with other genres – such as Caitlin Kittredge’s ‘The Iron Thorn’, which is an excellent Lovecraftian steampunk dark fantasy set in an alternate, industrialized 1950s.
SS: Do you have a favourite story by H.P. Lovecraft, if so, what is it and why?
LL: I don’t have an all-time favourite Lovecraft story – it depends on what I’m writing. Currently my fiction is very Manhattan-based, so I’ve been reading his NYC stories, such as ‘Cool Air’, ‘The Horror at Red Hook’, and ‘He’.
SS: Some of your writing calls Clark Ashton Smith to mind. I imagine you’ve read him, how did his stories strike you?
LL: I must confess that I haven’t read as much of Smith as I...