Many Drops Make a Stream features Droplet, a vigilante shapeshifter, assuming many animal forms while she takes on the corrupt powers-that-be of the fantasy world she inhabits. Today, the novel’s author Adrian Harley joins us to answer five questions about Droplet specifically and in the book in general!
Q: How did you build the world for Many Drops Make a Stream?
A: I’ve been writing in this world since I was 13, full of confidence, when my only guide for what showed up in my fantasy world was “What do I personally think would be cool?” I highly recommend this, it was great fun. The twenty years since then have been a slow process of asking myself questions, which has also been great fun. I asked myself things like “why does this world have half-human, half-animal hybrids?” and “what’s beyond that mountain ridge on the map?” This has resulted in dozens of story ideas, some of which are even drafted, and I hope a lot of them make it to final book form some day.
Q: Tumblr user definitely-not-a-shark asks, “There are so many wonderful animals that Droplet gets to shapeshift into! Which of them is your favorite form, and why is it the shark?”
A: Tragically, a shark form did not make it into the final draft of this book, so it cannot be a shark. I ended up with a surprise favorite form – I loved writing Droplet as a rat. The runner-up is Droplet’s goose form. I have a soft spot for geese. I find their total disregard for people and open hostility very entertaining. I started writing Many Drops Make a Stream before Untitled Goose Game came out, but that sort of aggressive commitment to upending order is something I enjoy writing.
Q: Following up on that, what animal would you love to write that you haven’t written yet?
A: Otters, definitely. Otters or some other kind of mustelid. That bounciness and playfulness would be quite a change of pace for Droplet, but we may see more shapeshifters who would be more at home in an otter form. I’d also like to write Droplet taking on a rabbit form, in homage to Watership Down.
Q: What was the first story you ever wrote?
A: Before I could write, I dictated stories about Land Before Time characters to my mom, who wrote them down for me so I could illustrate them with dinosaur stamps. I don’t remember the first story I ever wrote myself, but it was probably about a cat. I don’t even know how many magical cat stories I came up with as a kid.
Q: What are some hobbies you have outside writing?
A: I absolutely love being outside. I take a lot of walks, and I go on hikes as often as I can. I do my best brainstorming out walking in the woods, too. My main sedentary hobby is reading, closely followed by checking out books from the library that I do not read, which sit on my end table for a month before I return them.