does the word "story"
mean to you?
that much. I am much more interested in language; we demand language as
Heidigger (and others) argued. Although, we need "story" in our lives:
from the muttering of everyday speech to the grand narratives of the
Greeks. I suppose "story" simplifies things for us, turns something we
can never understand (our finite, limitedness) into something plausible.
have a "reader" in mind when you write stories?
Myself, I am a reader. I write for myself – a selfish cliché, I know –
in the vainglorious hope that someone might tell me they like it.
Although, I do like the idea of an average reader/fan of the
established British "literary" novel (a re-hash of the "Victorian novel
with Jamesian knobs on" as the critic Mark Thwaite once said) reading
my work. I sometimes wonder about people who expect plot and twists and
literary metaphor reading Everyday.
I often wonder what they would make of it.
TSR: Is there
anything you'd like to ask someone who has read your collection,
anything at all?
is a bloody good question. Well, probably a toss-up between a) Do you
think I am far too obviously bitter and twisted in that juvenile
slamming doors-after-an-argument kind of way, and I should finally grow
up? And b) What did you think of the first story?
TSR: How does it feel knowing that people are buying your book?
It makes me happy, as I suppose it does every published author. Okay, I
wrote the book for the clichéd and selfish reasons I mention above, but
I like the idea of people reading my book. I can’t deny that. If I saw
someone reading it on the tube it would make my year and I would
probably rush up to them and demand they shake my hand.
TSR: What are
you working on now?
LR: Well, I’ve just signed a deal for my novel The Canal
with Melville House Publishing in New York. Something I am very proud
of (Melville being a favourite publisher of mine). I have just finished
a poetry collection called Varroa Destructor that I’m pleased with and I’m working on a new novel (working title Amber) and the non-fiction book On Boredom.
And I nearly have enough stories (fragments) for another collection. I
write a lot of criticism too and have just finished a piece on Francis
Ponge for the TLS.