Nadia Bulkin – "Intertropical Convergence Zone”
Your story references various cultures and myths. Did you have to do a lot
of research for these? What made you decide to mash them up?
I grew up in Indonesia, and in writing my story I used a combination of urban and local legends that I knew from childhood. I like sewing together bits and pieces of magic folklore to make my own "laws of magic," so to speak - in Indonesia, myth and spirituality are usually what you make them, and its sources are almost always diverse. As far as I know, however, I invented the specific rituals used in the story.
What was the most difficult part in writing the story?
I would say getting the right events in place and setting the right tone.
How does your political science background influence your writing?
Political science plays a huge role in my writing, although I don't always write explicitly about politics. Political science is really just the interaction of a whole lot of powerful plots and characters, which is why I love it. "Intertropical Convergence Zone" was a way for me to write about a political period (the Suharto era) that had a lot of impact on me personally with the freedom, texture, and emotional punch of fiction.