Interviews

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David Backer

“We’ve been getting very digital, and I think ancient traditions can help us keep the parts of our analog selves we might not want to give up as we become more digital. (I’ve been taking computer sabbaths on Wednesdays, for example—no computer for an entire day—and it helps.)”

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Matt Bell

“In the end, the important thing for a writer isn’t to use what is trendy but what is necessary. That’s what’s going to produce fresh, interesting, and honest writing, and I don’t think either Lily or I would have anything to say against meta-fiction that comes from that place.”

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Jason Behrends

“Well, it is the coming together of a lot different things. My main source is a collection of sites, lit, music, and art, that I read through a net reader. I also try to stay connected with what Chicago has to offer. Friends lead to more friends, etc.”

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Ann Bogle

Ann Bogle II

This is self-reflection or self-reflective writing. Candor but not verse. That is what I write: not-verse. On occasion I write a poem though rarely an occasional poem. Instead of calling it non-fiction we could call it non-verse.”

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Molly Bond

“When I write, it’s like water spilling onto a page. It comes in waves and bursts, and then there’s calm areas. Sometimes I have trouble editing, because rearranging the words is like rearranging water. Sometimes I’ll look up from the paper and stare at my surroundings until they inspire me to find the perfect word to end my writing.”

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Mel Bosworth

“If people could buy books with monopoly money or magic wampum more people would buy books, I think.”

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Jennifer Bower

“I donned a Las Vegas showgirl costume one Halloween and every woman in the joint was convinced I was a man in drag.”

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J. Bradley

“I thought of the weirdest fetish one would have in picking up strangers is dressing his lovers up like Lincoln so he could be like John Wilkes Booth and use this pick up line, “I want to blow your mind.”

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Ryan W. Bradley

“The only job I could get was pumping gas, which is what I did for the next eight months before convincing the university that had booted me to give me another chance.”

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M.R. Branwen

“My soul dies a little every time a crossword is replaced by Sudoku.”

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Amy Burns

“Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against discussing writing, writers or novels but I would rather sandpaper a cat’s arse than to join in the media-parade mentality that some writers trot out during interviews.”

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Jessie Carty

” . . . writing is a way that I connect with the rest of the world. I write myself, so to speak.”

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Matthew Dexter

“You know you’re a writer doing this for food and shelter and not some fancy MFA program. Those struggles build you and make you a better artist. Your inspiration and hunger grows and you get fat like me.”

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Michelle Elvy

“When I hear my wee kids talking about apostrophes and misplaced commas, I think of Mr. McClory and smile, and wonder if my children will grow up to be grammatical tyrants like their mother. Besides wishing for world peace, I wish that kids today still knew how to diagram sentences.”

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Elizabeth Farren

“If life is an enormous mystery, fiction is an enormous answer—an event with a beginning, a middle and an end.”

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Greg Gerke

“I listen to nothing. I write long hand and transcribe and in that step I can listen to a little music, because it’s not a real edit, though I might tinker and would stop the music if I really had to make sense of what I had written.”

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Roland Goity

“I think fiction has the unique ability to lend perspective and occasionally help shape opinion about important topics in extremely subtle yet effective ways. Oftentimes humor helps.”

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Brad Green

“It feels strange to write I’m a writer, you know? Like maybe I’m fibbing just a bit, that I’m pulling on my own cock when I should be in the bedroom trying to make a baby.”

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Suzanne Marie Hopcroft

“I now find that the critical toolbox that I use as a student and teacher of literature informs and enriches my creative process, though there are also hazards involved; for instance, I sometimes find myself falling into nineteenth-century syntactic patterns that I adore in Austen or James but that are really rather at odds with the kind of work I want to be producing myself.”

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Claire King
“I write because I want the tangible thing that I can only have by writing it. Also I employ someone to whip me lightly if I slack off.”
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Desmond Kon

“Too many things, since I’m a sadly flawed person. One would be how flippant I sound even when sometimes I’m trying to say something invested and important. Too many graphic novels as a teen. I also get tired too easily now that I’m on the cusp of the big 4-0. I’m sure my body is buckling under itself slowly. From bad cholesterol. And a weaker heart from so much heartache.”

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Stephen Marlowe

For these reasons, I ain’t got time for jack. I sometimes sleep, but usually rely on classic Type I Manic-Depression to keep me up late enough, or get me up early enough, to write when the rest of the world has no reason to be about, unless they’re up to no good, up to all kinds of good, work 3rd shift, or are in the Army or something.”

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Scott McClanahan

“Really all you have to do is just add the words “and” and “so” to your sentences and they immediately become great literature. Shakespeare, the King James Bible, Twain, Gogol, they all do it.”

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Carol Novack

“I, focused? Where did these little tales come from anyway.  I have no idea.  A germ of a concept, a cluster of words, a character poking her head out of the sea of me, out of dreams I don’t remember or never had. I like to think that my writings speak for themselves, without me. I mean really, the characters were the ones who wrote the tales. I was merely their conduit.”


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Nik Perring

Nik Perring’s book is square. A green skinned woman sits on what seems to be a plane with a lemur on her lap. The lemur is under a spotlight.

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Paula Ray

“I write best when I just type whatever pops in my head and go with the flow. My best work pours out of me this way. Yes, I have to go back an edit, but the emotional truth is there.”

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Nicholas Rombes

“…That voice took over and here we are, turning off the tap, the drip / drip / drip of narrative slowing until it’s as quiet as the first, glorious moments after the end of the world.”

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Bradley Sands

I wanted readers to be able to pick any random sentence and be delighted by it, even if they don’t know its context. I don’t like to waste a word, so the sentences are condensed and crammed with gags and word play and absurd situations.”

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Peter Schwartz

“I’m not a pussy. To anyone who perceives me as a pussy, I would say this. I simply don’t care about the prefabricated and ultimately meaningless constructions that American society has imposed upon its male members as a method of controlling their actions.”

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Jack Swenson

“Many years ago, when I was young and dumb, I had a car accident. I fell asleep at the wheel. I spent a week in the hospital, and after that, three months in a body cast. The hospital stay was memorable, unreal. People came in and out; I didn’t know what was going on. I lamented the past, worried about the future.”

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Chris Tarry

“I was trying to get used to writing something fictional using my own name and the names of people in my life. It’s based on this girl I was in love with many years ago named Jennifer. It seemed (to me at least) that at the time of this torrid love affair, that every girl I dated was named Jennifer. Or, at the very least, had a name that started with a “J”.”

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Patrick Wensink

“I’m very structured with my writing schedule, but my actual writing is very unstructured. I set aside four hours a day to write fiction and another four for my job, which is freelance copy writing. But when I’m writing fiction, I do very little planning or outlining. I have some ideas in my head and I just make it up as I go along. Afterwards, I edit, edit, edit until I’m no longer embarrassed about what I made up.”

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Phoebe Wilcox

“The book took me over twenty years (on and off) to write. Then finally one day I woke up and realized that I wanted to do something with my writing and to be involved in some sort of writing scene. I wanted to ‘come out of the closet.’”

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