Literary blogger Anna Palij has published a new interview with me on her blog, The Writer’s Pane. It’s not a book-pimping exercise disguised as an interview. This is an honest-to-goodness “getting to know you” kind of interview.
Herewith, a small sample of our online correspondence:
Where do you find inspiration?
Wherever I can, to be honest. In the news. In unanswered questions from other stories. In rhetorical questions that spark unexpected connections in my subconscious. In my hopes as well as my anxieties. In my desire to avoid bankruptcy. In my fear of vanishing into obscurity while still alive. In my anger and disappointment that the human species has failed to live up to my lofty expectations.
Which character in literature do you associate yourself with the most?
I’m not sure I could reduce this answer to a single character. When I’m working on a novel, slogging away in unsung solitude for months at a time, I feel not unlike Sisyphus. When a book-release day results in a general yawn of apathy from the world, I feel like Charlie Brown, once again deceived into trying to kick the football. When opportunities for professional success slip away, but I’ve catapulted another writer to glory in the process, I feel like Mad Max at the end of The Road Warrior, left behind and forgotten amid the wreckage, lost to memory. In my best moments, when I am closest to living in accordance with a Zen ideal, free from attachment and desire, I feel like the protagonist of Richard Brautigan’s classic novel In Watermelon Sugar, the character who does not have a regular name.