by Sandra Odell
Shorts are great if I have one discrete idea with just a few characters. I can focus on a scene, a single encounter, a single incident. For “The Island of Beasts,” I really wanted to focus on this meeting between werewolves on a remote island. I didn’t want to explain the entire world, all the characters’ histories, what happens next. Short stories mean I can really bring that microscopic focus in and not have to stretch and expand past that. Ultimately, I find I can really pack a lot of conflict and character into those brief, intense moments. That can be very satisfying.