A Chat with The Penmen Review

I wish to thank Rebecca LeBoeuf of The Penmen Review for hosting this interview. I hope you’ll enjoy our conversation about the craft of writing and the challenges involved in being a writer.

The Penmen Review is Southern New Hampshire University’s online journal for creative writers, featuring resource articles and spotlight interviews, as well as prose and poetry chosen by the editorial board from submitted work.

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LOST SISTER featured on Snowflakes in a Blizzard

I wish to thank editor Darrell Laurant for featuring my novel LOST SISTER on his website Snowflakes in a Blizzard. Darrell approached me with this idea, having found LOST SISTER on Amazon. In the blizzard of books available to us now, he aims to showcase works of merit and reintroduce them to the public. Please visit his website to discover more good reads and become acquainted with their authors. You can read about Darrell’s mission here, and don’t miss that last line. I love his vision, his kindness and his wonderful sense of humor.

Writing Outside the Lines

Change is tricky. You don’t see it coming or going. You only know that at some point you put away your bread machine, stopped wearing your purple jacket, started listening to talk radio instead of CDs.

I just finished writing a short story using a method that surprised me. Typically I write in a linear fashion, letting the story roll out like a rug. How can you go wrong if you begin at the beginning and end at the ending? This latest tale spun out differently. I wrote the ending first and pieced the rest together like a quilt, working with the scenes that interested me, setting aside those that didn’t.

Both methods are difficult–all writing is difficult–but this new quilt-making approach roused my interest. It was like finding a secret passage or getting away with a clever crime. Could I really do this? What if the story had no momentum? What if the stitches were visible? Well, several people have read this story and I’m happy to say, so far so good.

I’ve heard that it is not uncommon for novelists to build their stories in this piecemeal fashion. I suppose the breadth of a novel, the long effort it requires, leaves more room for fancy. The brevity of the short form is a discipline, compelling writers of this genre to see the point and get to it. Discovering that I can work and juggle at the same time has put a measure of fun back into the job. I can hardly wait for the next surprise.

Dorothy Parker said, “I hate writing, I love having written.” What if you could love them both?

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A Book Saved My Life

As a Lambda Literary finalist for my story collection SURVIVAL SKILLS, I am participating in a video compilation. These shorts will be presented as an opening video at this year’s Lambda Literary Awards in NYC on June 2, 2014. “A Book Saved My Life” is the subject, and my choice as an LGBT author is Kate Millett’s powerful and intimate autobiography, SITA.

Q&A with Jennifer Hartsock

I am grateful to Jennifer Hartsock for posting this interview on the Ashland Creek Press blog. Please visit the ACP website to learn more about this extraordinary publisher.

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Ashland Creek Press is a small, independent publisher of books with a world view. Our mission is to publish a range of books that foster an appreciation for worlds outside our own, for nature and the animal kingdom, and for the ways in which we all connect.

Among Animals

amonganimals_250As one of the contributors, I am delighted to announce the official launch of AMONG ANIMALS, a new collection of stories published by Ashland Creek Press.

“This diverse collection of stories explores the ways in which we live among—and often in conflict with—our non-human counterparts. These stories feature animals from the familiar (dogs and cats) to the exotic (elands and emus), and in these stories animals are both the rescuers and the rescued. Within these pages are glimpses of the world through the eyes of a zookeeper, a shelter worker, a penguin researcher, and a neighborhood stray, among many others—all highlighting the ways in which animals and humans understand and challenge one another.”

This compelling new book is available in paperback or digital form and is available for purchase now.