Grandbois' writing has been described as "Dr. Seuss for
adults," "avant-garde standup," and "between Brautigan and Basho." He
is the author of the forthcoming The
Hermaphrodite: An Hallucinated Memoir (Green Integer), an
art novel that includes forty original woodcuts by renowned Argentine
artist Alfredo Benavidez Bedova. His writing has appeared in many print
and online journals and anthologies.
with Daniel Grandbois
How long did it take you to write all the stories in your collection?
Daniel Grandbois: About a year. Three of the longer ones—The Mansion, The Spider King, and Happy Birthday Grandma were written earlier, before there was an idea of making a collection. The original version of The Mansion was twice as long and written more as a children’s tale. And it was titled Unlucky Lucky Day (singular). When the book came along and stole its title, the story had to be revised to fit with the other pieces.
TSR: Did you
have a collection in mind when you were writing them?
there were about a half dozen stories, most of which were taken quickly
by literary magazines, I knew I was working on a collection. Then, when
I had about fifteen of the eventual seventy-three stories that make up
the book, I sent them to BOA Editions, bluffing a little that I was
close to finished with the others. Luckily, the final acceptance and
subsequent publishing process moved slowly, so I had time to write the
rest of the book.
TSR: How did
you choose which stories to include and in what order?
a handful of stories that I believed were finished pieces didn’t make
it into the book. That was all decided in the editing process. In the
end, some just didn’t fit with the others or weren’t on par with them.
The ordering came once I’d decided to break the book into sections
named after the days of the week. I researched everything I could about
the meaning and significance of the days of the week through history
and then put the stories where they fit best.
does the word "story"
mean to you?
don’t think much about what words like "story" and "poem" mean, or what
classifications like "flash fiction” or “prose poetry” mean. If I did,
I’d probably get stuck in trying to write to someone else’s logic.
have a "reader" in mind when you write stories?
Not really. I just write what works for me, what lights up my unusual lump of gray matter.
TSR: Is there
anything you'd like to ask someone who has read your collection,
anything at all?
DG: What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?
TSR: How does it feel knowing that people are buying your book?
DG: Better than if they weren’t.
TSR: What are
you working on now?
DG: I’ve just completed two books (or at least the latest revisions of them): a follow-up collection to Unlucky Lucky Days, titled Unlucky Lucky People, and a book length tale for children and adults that I’ve been working on, on and off, for the past five and half years.
TSR: What are
the three most recent short story collections you've read?
DG: Mister Valery by Goncalo Tavares, Samual Johnson is Indignant by Lydia Davis, and Today I Wrote Nothing by Daniil Kharms