I had always wanted to write a portal fantasy and I had always wanted to write a magical girl. When Dean Alfar started ideating for an anthology of stories set in his alternate colonial Philippine world of Hinirang and invited me to submit, I finally had the opportunity to do both.
I can’t talk about “Child of Two Worlds” without talking about Dean’s “The Kite of Stars.” Chronologically within the history of Hinirang, Adelfa’s story takes place before Maria Isabella’s, but technically, she is Maria Isabella’s literary granddaughter. I wanted to tell the story of a strong-willed girl having many adventures in one tale, and so we have Adelfa and her dive into Biringan to rescue Matteo.
Speaking of Mateo, I wanted to write a male character whose personality was gentle, curious, excitable, and a little bit bumbling. Who better a peg than Milo Thatch from Disney’s Atlantis? I think that came through because Milo was also the visual peg used by this story’s illustrator, chocnut-san. Amusingly, we didn’t even talk about it.
Child of Two Worlds was eventually bought by Sheree Renee Thomas for F&SF. I am immensely proud of having broken into that esteemed publication, and I am gladder still that it was this story that made it.