does the word "story"
mean to you?
itself it suggests narrative but that’s actually the last thing I look
for in a short story. For me, a good short story resonates around a
significant moment in the character’s life, is economical and uses
language to suggest far more than it says. My favourite stories are
powerful, poignant, poetic and often have very little apparently
happening on the outside. Alistair MacLeod and Alan Spence are typical
of this as, of course, are some of the classic stories by writers such
have a "reader" in mind when you write stories?
When I’m writing I don’t think about anything other than being in the
process. I’m very character-driven and while I write I really am in
another world. When I’m editing my work I think about the reader in
general terms to ensure that what I write makes sense - I read
everything aloud several time over. If a story is commissioned for a
particular purpose I think about its audience ( e.g. whether it will
work on radio) but that happens after the first draft is done.
TSR: Is there
anything you'd like to ask someone who has read your collection,
anything at all?
AD: Did you have a
favourite story and why?
TSR: How does it feel knowing that people are buying your book?
It’s a wonderful feeling - I tend to meet people at readings and it’s
lovely to hear them say that something you wrote has moved or affected
them in some way.
TSR: What are
you working on now?
I’m working on quite a long short story and editing another shorter
one. Not because I have a collection in mind - it’s just that’s what I
do. I have never actually set out to write a novel but occasionally a
story has turned out not to be a story.