A question for Carly Racklin

Q: Whence you do you draw inspiration for your characters?

A: My characters almost always come from little sparks of inspiration – a song, a line of dialogue that pops into my head as I’m trying to fall asleep, a picture I see while scrolling through Twitter. And of course they all carry little pieces of me in them. I think that’s the spell that usually results in a character: something from me, and some bit of magic I snatch out of the world.


Carly Racklin’s story “The Guardian of Werifest Park
in Metaphorosis Friday, 27 September 2019.
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A question for Matt Hornsby

Q: Aliens. Are they out there?

A: I’ve never been able to decide on this, but at the moment I am leaning towards yes, although quite possibly in some format that we would find quite disappointing or incomprehensible. Certainly no Klingons or beautiful green women. Arthur C. Clarke said, either we are alone in the universe or we are not, and either way the answer is terrifying – but it’s also quite amazing.


Matt Hornsby’s story “A Final Resting Place
in Metaphorosis Friday, 20 September 2019.
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A question for Peter T. Donahue

Q: What tools do you write with?

A: For fiction, blog posts, and best man speeches, I draft and edit in Scrivener. This program’s features enable my compulsive hoarding of cut sentences. For poetry I prefer to draft in the margins of my lesson plan book, with a dull number-2 pencil found under a student’s desk.


Peter T. Donahue’s story “Favorites from Here and Abroad
in Metaphorosis Friday, 13 September 2019.
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A question for Evan James Sheldon

Q: Do you often include children in your stories? What role do they play?

A: I do often write about children, though I find I normally write from their perspective. I love to use some of the formal elements found in fairy tales in my stories, and even in darker stories, children offer decisive action and reaction that is, I hope, relatable for the reader. In this story, the daughter at the end provides a way for the mythmaking narrative to make sense and provides insight into the narrator’s understanding of his relationship with his father. My wife and I are expecting our first child, a daughter, any day, and thinking about the stories that we will tell her helped to shape the emotional arc in this story.


Evan James Sheldon’s story “There is a City, He Told Me
in Metaphorosis Friday, 30 August 2019.
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A question for Cindy Fan

Q: What is your favorite part of drawing?

A: My favorite part about drawing is the moment after I’ve figured out the composition of an image and can zone out a little bit as I begin to build up the colours and shades. I feel gratification from overcoming an important (and often stressful) step while being able to fully experience the relaxing physical sensation of moving a pen back and forth as I listen to either music or a podcast.


Cindy Fan‘s image “A Final Resting Place” is the cover art for our September 2019 stories.Metaphorosis

A question for Simone Kern

Q: What’s the story no one else thinks is as good as you do?

A: Twin Study by Stacey Richter is a whole book of short stories that was critically well-received but never became the best-seller it deserved to be. This is the kind of book you shouldn’t read on an airplane, because you’ll creep out everyone around you by alternately gasping and crying and laughing out loud. I’m still haunted by sentences from this book that are so good, they’ll give me imposter syndrome forever.

In college, my fiction professor, Dan Chaon, was a big fan of Richter’s, and that’s how I came across Twin Studies. At the time, Richter maintained a Q&A on her website, and my roommate and I, both aspiring 19-year-old writers obsessed with Twin Study, would frequently come home late at night and send her drunken questions about writing or dating, which she always answered with pithy brilliance. A decade later, I was teaching English IV to a class suffering from a particularly bad case of senioritis and, after failing to interest them in Hemingway and Hamlet, assigned some stories out of Twin Study. Kids who hadn’t done the reading all year were busting with opinions on “The Cavemen in the Hedges”, and probably the single most important class discussion of my teaching career came from talking about date rape after reading the story “Blackout”. Every story in Twin Study is a treasure, and Richter should rank alongside Kelly Link, Karen Russell, and A. M. Homes as one of the best living short story writers. Go read it and thank me later!


Simone Kern’s story “The Propagator
in Metaphorosis Friday, 23 August 2019.
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