Teika Marija Smits is a half-Latvian, half-Russian, UK-based writer and freelance editor. She writes poetry and fiction, and her speculative short stories have been published in Reckoning, Best of British Science Fiction (2018 and 2020), Shoreline of Infinity, Enchanted Conversation and Great British Horror 6. Her debut poetry pamphlet, Russian Doll, was published by Indigo Dreams Publishing in March 2021. A fan of all things fae, she is delighted by the fact that Teika means fairy tale in Latvian.
Teika started her writing career when still at primary school, mostly by thinking up poems about her family, though she was dismayed by the fact that she could only think of one word that rhymed with her mum’s name, ‘Ludmila’, which was Polyfilla. However, despite that setback, she went on to write plenty of poems, short stories and a novel, Bluebeard’s Theatre, the first 500 words of which was longlisted in the 2021 Jericho Writers Summer Festival of Writing Friday Night Live competition.
Q: What is the first book you remember reading or having read to you as a child?
A: As English wasn’t the first language of my parents I think I only really began to read at school. But I have very fond memories of reading all the Sherlock Holmes stories as a young teenager, as well as The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas.
Q: Do you have a lucky writing talisman? If so, what is it?
A: No, but my writing desk is surrounded by artworks that inspire me.
Q: Do you have a favourite quote? (From a book, film, song, speech…)
A: The proverb, ‘Smooth seas do not make skilful sailors’. I think it says a lot about life, and art.
Q: What superpower would you like to have and why?
A: Considering the environmental issues we’re currently facing I’d like to be able to drastically lower the levels of CO2 in the atmosphere. Maybe I’d be like a tree, but to the nth power!
I first saw the green fairy on a Tuesday in April. The day had started, like most others, with the beginnings of a story. As I went about my early morning chores – taking Branwell for a walk; feeding Richard’s cat, Satine; making breakfast – I thought about my protagonists, Romina and Santiago. They were …