Where did you come up with a Manthycore for your antagonistic force? What is the legend behind it?
The ancient story tellers loved any sort of chimera, or beast made of the parts of different animals, like the Sphinx, Pegasus, fawns, and centaurs. I needed something that was more horrible than just getting whacked by some sword babe. The word manticore (I just used an archaic spelling for no better reason than I liked how it looked) is very old, and actually means “eater of men.” Some of the legends, which stretch in origin from Egypt to India, have the beast so ravenous that not a single trace is left of its victims other than their clothes. From there it was a short trip to making the beast a fastidious eater.
How did the series grow beyond the first story?
I honestly thought I was done. “Voice of the Spoiler” came from the single scene at the beginning, with the Servant sitting on a rock, weeping among the bodies of the slain, and a desire to tell a story about how love can sometimes make people do incredibly dreadful things. The scene was so powerful that I spent a couple of days working it out in my head how she got there, then decided to write the story in that same circular fashion.
More stories came because people liked it. It was a top ten finisher in the 2005 Preditors and Editors Poll, and a few folks emailed me and asked to see more. At first I couldn’t think of anything more I wanted to say about her, but then realized that even the slightest variations in the monotone of her pain and despair would stand out, and there might be more things that she could tell me. The funny thing is, the more I write about her, the more things I see that deserve to be told.