A question for Kato Thompson

Q: What tools do you write with?

A: My favorite tools are questions. What if? How might that happen? What could possibly go wrong? I usually answer these questions while drinking a good cup of coffee and scratching on a piece of paper with a pencil. Sometimes this produces elaborate doodles instead of writing, but it’s a fun way to start.

Once I have an outline or at least a sketch of what I want to write about, I move on to a keyboard. The keyboard is a very important tool for me because a) I can type faster than I can write, and b) my pencil doesn’t have spellcheck. But the most important tool I have in my writer’s arsenal is a long walk. When my plot is twisting in the wrong way and my dialogue is growing sleepy, there is nothing like a long walk to give me perspective and wake up those inner voices. Plus, the dog loves it. Like Douglas Adams’ character, Dirk Gently, who claims he rarely ends up where he was intending to go, but often ends up somewhere that he needed to be, I think sometimes you can set out intending to write the next best thing in short fiction but end up making the dog happy and that is okay.


Kato Thompson’s story “How to Survive a Fish Attack” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 19 February 2016. Subscribe to our e-mail updates so you’ll know when new stories go live.

A question for K. G. Anderson

Q: What kind of non-fiction do you like to read and how does it affect the fiction you write?

A: My nonfiction reading is mostly autobiography and biography. I’m interested in the ways that people shape their life stories, and how and why they tell them — to themselves and to others. In my fiction, I like to explore trickster characters for whom lying is an art form; characters who delude themselves (often for self-preservation); and people who create stories of the future that serve as roadmaps, often for the organizations they lead. Many of my stories, including “Rowboat”, involve family secrets. I was deeply influenced by Russell Baker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning autobiography Growing Up. Baker’s stories about the Depression era helped me understand my parents and grandparents, who didn’t want to talk about those hard times. As the child of a Jewish parent, I was fascinated by Art Spiegelman’s ground-breaking graphic novel Maus: A Survivor’s Tale.


K. G. Anderson’s story “Rowboat” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 12 February 2016. Subscribe to our e-mail updates so you’ll know when new stories go live.

A question for Elise Forier Edie

Q: Do you have any pets? Do they influence your writing?

A: I have two dogs, Krypto and Jubilee. They are named after super heroes. They absolutely influence my writing. For one thing, they don’t give two shits about it, and this helps enormously, especially on bad days, when I think my work sucks beyond belief. My dogs always remind me that life is not about achievement, and that beauty and love can be found everywhere, even in old tennis balls and saggy bags of dog food. I like making their tails thump on the floor after I’ve been wrestling with metaphors. I substitute their names and the word “puppy” in poems and song lyrics. It always makes me feel better. “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s puppy? Thou art my Krypto and my Jubilee.” They wag their tails and I feel like a genius.


Elise Forier Edie’s story “Heard” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 5 February 2016. Subscribe to our e-mail updates so you’ll know when new stories go live.

A question for Henry Szabranski

Q: Does a nameless horse make you more or less nervous than a named horse?

A: All horses have names, even if those names are not known to humans.


Henry Szabranski’s story “In the Belly of the Angel” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 29 January 2016. Subscribe to our e-mail updates so you’ll know when new stories go live.

A question for Julia Warner

Q: What’s an idea you’re dying to write but haven’t, and why?

A: I have a deep fascination with ancient history and the myths and stories which have been passed down in some cultures for hundreds and even thousands of years. I’ve always wanted to write a fantasy story set in ancient times and draw inspiration from these literary fossils. Maybe the Chimera laid an egg before she was slain by Bellerophon. Maybe the children of Anubis could shapeshift into dogs. I think the reason I’ve never fleshed out any of these ideas is that writing in a time period which happened so long ago feels much more difficult than writing in the one you are experiencing for yourself or in a world of your own creation where you get to make up the rules. It sounds like a fun challenge though!


Julia Warner’s story “The Machinery” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 22 January 2016. Subscribe to our e-mail updates so you’ll know when new stories go live.

A question for Rhoads Brazos

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

A: Almost all outside forces conspire against me. My son barges into my office, as nine-year-olds are wont to do, and tries to read my on-screen words. I’m a perfectionist by nature, so no one is allowed to see the first draft, but with him especially, I can’t shrink the screen quickly enough. I don’t want him to drink in the horrors of my writing and develop some sort of neurosis. As a parent, I feel I’m already doing unspoken psychological damage. I have to avoid anything blatantly scarring. This job is really hard.

At the same instant, my wife has been pestering me to continue a novella series I started for her amusement. I had bragged to her that I could craft a regency romance that would knock her socks off, providing I could give it my own unique twist. She doubted me, so of course I wrote it to prove how right I was. (This is standard husbandly behavior.) I’m not sure what genre the piece falls into. Picture a fusion of P.G. Wodehouse, Clive Barker, and Georgette Heyer. It’s charming in its lunacy. I could write five short stories in the place of a new novella, but just thinking about it now . . . perhaps I’ll build my daily wordcount and add another escapade.

I suppose the housecat is the only one who lets me work. He preferred my old boxy monitor, which made a toasty perch for him in the winter months, but he seems satisfied with the bench I’ve set up next to me. He has developed a habit of snoring, which I’ve never heard of afflicting a cat, but clearly it happens. It’s funny for ten minutes or so, until I find my breathing syncing with his own. That just feels weird to me, so I bump him to make him stop. Lord of the manor, and all that.


Rhoads Brazos’s story “… and now He erases” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 15 January 2016. Subscribe to our e-mail updates so you’ll know when new stories go live.