A question for Vaya Pseftaki

Q: If you could have a meal with a character from any classic novel, whom would you choose?

A: I would gladly take Basil Hallward, the painter from The Picture of Dorian Gray, out to dinner. Though overshadowed by the dashing Dorian, he is the most tragic figure in the book; his unrequited love morphs into a literal window to hell. To top it all, he ends up being murdered. The check would definitely be on me, along with plenty of shots.

Vaya Pseftaki’s story “The Noise Inside
in Metaphorosis Friday, 15 March 2019.
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A question for Carolyn Lenz

Q: Do you use music for inspiration? If so what do you listen to?

A: I use music in two ways when I write. The most basic is less inspiration and more motivation. I’ll often listen to video game music during the actual act of writing, since lyrics distract me and video game music is designed to get you in a groove and keep you moving.

The other way I use music is to help clarify characters. If I’m having trouble expressing a character’s perspective or motivation, I’ll try to think of what their personal theme song would be. I find you can have a very clear image of who a character is in your head without necessarily having the words to describe it, and music and the feelings evoked by it can really help to bridge that gap.

Carolyn Lenz’s story “Pleasing the Giants
in Metaphorosis Friday, 1 March 2019.
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An additional question for L’Erin Ogle

Q: What is the scariest or most disturbing story you’ve ever read?

A: I read a short story by Sunny Moraine in Shimmer titled “Come MyLove and I’ll Tell You a Tale.” It’s narrated by someone grieving the end of the world and their lover. What shook me to the core was the beautiful prose describing the life before, then shifting to the events that ended the world as it was known, to the narrator now. I won’t ruin the story for anyone, but the way the narrator was forced to adapt, the things that had to be done to survive, and the knowledge of before and after, the splitting of thesoul, never quite left my head or my heart.

And for a novel, Mark Z Danielewski’s House of Leaves broke my heart, turned me into an insomniac listening for the shift of a house at night, and wrote about regret, heartbreak, loss, and an evil that wasn’t defeated. There is a page where the words “I’m sorry” are written spiraling out of control, into an event, that I will never forget. It’s an experience, to read that book. It never left me either.

L’Erin Ogle’s story “Mean Streak
in Metaphorosis Friday, 22 February 2019.
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A question for Catherine George

Q: What would your characters say about you?

A: I like to think that Sara, the bear wife, would want to be part of my parent friend group, but I suspect she would tease me for my city-bred ways and middling outdoor survival skills. (Like Aaron, her husband, I enjoy trail running, but unlike him I’ve never seen a grizzly while running – just black bears.) She would probably also note that I’m really, really bad at yoga, whether with a baby or without.

Catherine George’s story “The Bear Wife
in Metaphorosis Friday, 15 February 2019.
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A question for Kyle Kirrin

Q: What was your favorite children’s book?

A: Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card. I’ve always been (and still am) a sucker for an underdog sports story, and Ender’s Game pulled it off beautifully.

Kyle Kirrin’s story “The Soul Farmer’s Daughters
in Metaphorosis Friday, 8 February 2019.
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A question for Amelia Dee Mueller

Q: How do pets/children/significant others help/hinder your process?

A: I keep the part of me that’s a writer a bit secluded from my family and friends, and they don’t really hear from that part unless I have a piece that’s done and ready to be torn apart by the real world. By then I’ve built some armor around the work and can take any comments they might have, good or bad. If I let people whose opinions I highly value see a piece before it’s ready, I wouldn’t be able to take any of their criticism, no matter how constructive. Strangers’ comments, however, I can take all day long and feel very little personal affiliation and see the room for improvement their negative feedback can bring. I think this comes from my journalism degree, because I didn’t have a choice as an undergrad but to let strangers eat up my words and spit them out again. I personally found that my journalism instructors were tougher than the creative writing teachers I worked under for my minor, but they all made me a better writer in the end.

The only thing that might hinder the creative writer in me is my day job, which I love, but it’s hard to sit down in the evening to write and mentally switch from the kind of writing I do for work to the kind of writing I do for me.

But my cat generally lets me work in peace, because if I’m writing it means I’m not forcing her to cuddle with me. She, similar to lots of great writers, needs her space.

Amelia Dee Mueller’s story “The Lightkeeper’s Wife
in Metaphorosis Friday, 1 February 2019.
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