Friday, September 19, 2008

Two and a Half Questions for Meghan Austin...

...whose story, "Marla" -- great! kick-ass! fill in your own superlative! -- is now up @ Wigleaf.


SG: Your very short stuff is really unique in lots of ways – voice, progression, subject matter, shape…. This is to say that I think I'd recognize a Meghan Austin short right away, even without your name on it. Is there a question here yet? I guess not…. How about this one: how conscious are you as a writer of working within the 'form' of the very short story?

MA: Thanks. I'm interested in form but not all that concerned with rules. I like writing very short things because I feel less constrained by the illusion of time within the fictional world. A character can be born in one sentence and die in the next one. Or the reverse. It's more difficult with a longer piece to deny time and focus on other things, because there is the evidence/reminder of time, in the hours the reader spends with the book.

You could immediately recognize my stories by the presence of lemurs, ocelots or disastrous relationships that result in the destruction of dishware.


SG: I hear you're working on a novel. Is it set in Chicago? If so, what is there to say about setting a fiction in the same place you're living your life?

MA: It's narrated from an unnamed city, but there are allusions to cross-country killing sprees and the occasional inter-planetary spiritual journey. Some of it takes place in the state or country of Canada-Oregon.


SG: Is it true that one of your heroes….?

MA: I'm not sure I have heroes. I look up to people whose flaws are similar but more glamorous than mine.

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