Author Spotlight: Mari Ness

Author spotlights are occasional Q&As with contributors. Mari Ness loves chocolate, words and music, in no particular order. Her other work has appeared in, Clarkesworld, Uncanny, Lightspeed, Nightmare, Apex, Strange Horizons, Fireside, and many other publications. For more, follow her on Twitter at @mari_ness, or check out her webpage at She lives in central Florida.

Mari Ness

Departure Mirror: Tell us a little about your Departure Mirror story.

Mari Ness: As someone who was fairly housebound even before Covid-19, I wondered what might be happening to others who had also — for whatever reasons — been largely stuck at home prior to the pandemic. Which led me to thinking about enchanted creatures living deep in the forest. How would the pandemic hit them? And so this story shaped itself. 

DM: How did you become a writer?

MN: When I was about four or five, my aunt shared with me a piece of magic: the books I devoured were created by real, actual people.

And that maybe someday I could do that.

Years later, here we are.

DM: What else are you passionate about?  Tell us about it.

MN: Chocolate, fairy tales, wetlands, beaches, heavy rains and thunderstorms.

DM: We’re also passionate about chocolate here. Last question: Do you have anything you’d like to promote?

MN: I have a small essay collection, Resistance and Transformation: On Fairy Tales, about how the 17th and 18th century authors of the French salons used fairy tales to comment — discreetly — on aristocratic society, recently published by Aqueduct Press.

Thank you, Mari! “A Preliminary Study of Humans Under Beastly Enchantments and COVID-19” can be found in the Winter 2021 issue of Departure Mirror Quarterly. The issue is free to download and to read. If you love the story as much as we do, please tell your friends!