Allow me to say this before beginning . . .
Aphelion Webzine published a short doll story that I sent them, "Niloufar's Friends," about a father who tries to keep his daughter innocent. It's up now, with a one sentence description.
In general, that story shows how much tamer I've become because I've been thinking about life and death in literature. It's like marriage and love; if you use it too much, then you devalue it. And if Niloufar had killed her treacherous friend, she would have had to climb up from a deeper pit of morality. (Ironically, I then read a Joanne Harris book over the summer where Anouk Rocher gave ringworm to three bullies; I swear I did not copy it!)
It's somewhat autobiographical, because I did have an EasyBake oven before I tried to use it to make clay pots and a friend did tell me the exact same words about feeling sorry for me. (That was last spring, actually.) I was upset the whole day after that.
The idea came from an AlienSkin magazine contest about evil dolls and toys. I wrote another story with evil toys, but I knew it would be too long to meet the typical word count. "Niloufar" was cut because the dolls in it actually weren't evil, just misguided.
I'm surprised they labeled it as fantasy, and not dark fantasy, because it is dark; horror may have been too extreme. It is also probably inaccurate regarding Iranians, as I based the culture in that book from the lovely stories Reading Lolita in Tehran and Persepolis. In other words, a lot of Persians are going to send angry emails.
I'll deal with it though. The whole point of me writing about people that are not Indian, white or American is to diversify myself and become a better author.