Anthony Cropper: The collection
took over a year. Some stories had been around in one form or another
for a little longer. For me, some stories come quickly, others can take
months to get right.
have a collection in mind when you were writing them?
to create the collection came from a commission. I met with a number of
reader groups and talked to them about both reading and writing. We
read a lot of Amy Hempel.
you choose which stories to include and in what order?
AC: The order
was more difficult than choosing the stories. One or two didn't make it
into the collection because they didn't seem to fit with the rest. The
order changed many times. In the end, we felt this order led the reader
into the ideas.
does the word "story"
mean to you?
AC: A means
of making order from chaos.
have a "reader" in mind when you write stories?
No. The stories come and if people like them then it's a bonus.
anything you'd like to ask someone who has read your collection,
anything at all?
AC: Why does water
expand when it freezes?
TSR: How does it feel knowing that people are buying your book?
AC: Better than if
they were selling them.
you working on now?
AC: I tend to work
on a few ideas at the same time. There's some stories that I've been
trying to get right for quite a while now. I'm also working on a novel.
the three most recent short story collections you've read?
AC: I tend to read and re-read
short story collections. I very much like Sherman Alexie, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in
Heaven. I've been reading Maynard
and Mack ( a compilation with commentaries), and one collection
I always go back to is The Things
They Carried, Tim O'Brien.