A question for Phil Berry

Q: What work of art has been the most inspiring?

A: It’s tempting to go full pseud on this one, but just the other day I was reading the second volume of art critic Brian Sewell’s autobiography, ‘Outsider’, and he reminded me about the genius of Salvador Dali. I was fascinated by his creations as a younger man, and gazed at glossy copies of ‘Crucifixion (Corpus Hypercubus)’ for hours. It combines religious ecstasy with the mysteries of nuclear science and higher dimensions. Christ is fixed, by nothing but ‘fields’, to the cruciform shape of an unfolded tesseract, or hypercube. Apparently, though I didn’t know it at the time, there are multiple representations of the painter and Gala, his wife, in the skin folds and shadows of each knee. You have to see it in the flesh to spot them. This painting appealed to my developing (Godless) mind in the same way as John Fowles’ The Magus and numerous concept albums. Although Dali is sometimes looked down upon as a painter for adolescents, perhaps he was, as Sewell says, ‘…the last of the great old masters.’

Phil Berry’s story “Sheer” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 10 June 2016. Subscribe to our e-mail updates so you’ll know when new stories go live.

A question for Luke Spooner

Q: What is your favorite fairy tale and why?

A: I don’t have a favourite as such when it comes to fairy tales but the one that definitely rises to the surface whenever I think back to stories that influenced me at a young age; is the story of ‘Tailypo.’ The actual story itself is more of legend that found its way into the fairy tale simply by it being repeatedly told until it became commonly told to children and used as a cautionary tale. I remember it being one of the first instances realising that what I was enjoying, and what I really wanted out of the story, was an unhappy ending, I quite enjoyed the fact that the ending was left more or less open to your imagination and you yourself were able to fill in the details as to what becomes of the lead character as well as the story having the guts to give us a dose of realism. The idea of that sort of brutal honesty in a story, when everything else in fairy tales seemed (at the time) dressed up to shield the young reader from realism, had me quite enamoured.

The fact that Tailypo started as a legend, with no author claiming ownership, also gave it a root in reality and a certain mystique that something like Goldilocks and The Three Bears just didn’t have straight off the bat – and the fact that there were so many variations on it also made it seem like it needed investigating. Subsequently; everyone I would tell it to would have a different version to trade and I would trade stories, gladly, until I built up my own personal mythos about the legend and it’s very dark message. In some ways, on a very basic level, it is a perfect story and is still a story I ‘check in on’ from time to time to see if anyone else has added a new version to the mix.

Luke Spooner’s image “Leaves and Butterflies” is the cover art for our June 2016 stories.Metaphorosis_2016-06

A question for Vanessa Fogg

Q: Do you make art other than prose? What kind, and how is it different?

A: Unfortunately, I am not gifted in any art other than prose. I can’t draw, can’t sing, and never took my childhood piano lessons seriously. I am grateful, however, for the existence of those who are gifted in the visual and musical arts!

Vanessa Fogg’s story “In Dew and Frost and Flame” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 3 June 2016. Subscribe to our e-mail updates so you’ll know when new stories go live.

A question for Dan Micklethwaite

Q: Can beautiful things be funny?

A: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. So too is humour. I can’t think of any reason why those eyes shouldn’t cross.

Dan Micklethwaite’s story “Mr. McAvennie’s Freedom” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 27 May 2016. Subscribe to our e-mail updates so you’ll know when new stories go live.

A question for Molly Etta

Q: When do you decide a story is finished?

A: I’ll admit that I’m drawn to writing that is (or seems) fragmentary, so I might be in a bad position to identify when a story is finished.

But that’s not a real answer, so here’s another attempt: I know I’m approaching the finish of a story when certain recurring motifs begin to feel less like flourishes, and more like they are essential to the structural integrity of the whole story.

Molly Etta’s story “Solomon and the Dragon’s Tongue” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 20 May 2016. Subscribe to our e-mail updates so you’ll know when new stories go live.

A question for Brad Preslar

Q: What is the hardest part of writing for you?

A: The blank page. It stares back and says all kinds of terrible things about you, your talent (or lack thereof), and whether or not you’ll ever come up with anything worth defacing it with. It reminds you of all the other things you might need to do before you start actually writing. It scoffs at all the ideas you want to write on it. That said, once I’ve put down a word, then a sentence, and then a paragraph, the momentum seems to build. The blank page loses its voice. It’s just that first word that’s so hard.

Brad Preslar’s story “A Song Without a Voice” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 13 May 2016. Subscribe to our e-mail updates so you’ll know when new stories go live.