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Mammoth Books presents Mami Wata

Simon Kurt Unsworth

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Fiction, Horror & ghost stories

When I was first asked to contribute to Exotic Gothic 3 (which was to feature Gothic-influenced stories in non-Gothic environments), I agreed without really thinking about it," Unsworth explains, "and then spent a long time struggling, trying to work out how, precisely, I was going to manage it or quite how to make a start. "I knew what I wanted to do, sort of, but not exactly how to do it, so one day alarmingly close to the deadline I did a fun thing: I freewheeled through Google. Using a small document about Zambian myths and cultures I found online (I set the story in Zambia for no reason other than an old family friend lives there and it seemed exotic in Gothic terms), I used one Zambian word from it as a search term and read what came up, took one intriguing Zambian term from the search results and searched for that, etc, and disappeared into Google's merry depths. "I ended up with an academic paper about a particular myth, a travel blog about a sort of beer made from corn and a weird little 'my God's better than your God' blog by a kid in Africa, and somewhere in the middle of that, the story appeared.

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