does the word "story"
mean to you?
illumination of some small human truth. That is, it must resonate
somehow with me, touching a universal essence so that I experience
the character’s love or pain or fear alongside them. But more than
the novel, a story should be transcendent, the whole greater than the
sum of the parts. Epiphanies that "can slice the top of your head
off", as the TLS describe William Trevor’s latest collection, are
important to me, though I respect writers brave enough to resist
them. A good story tells me something about myself, perhaps something
I didn’t want to know.
Do you have a reader in mind when you write stories?
in the sense of making the work as best I can. Aesthetically I’m
generally guided by the sort of fiction I like to read. I suppose on
final edits, when I’m reading my prose aloud, I imagine someone "hearing" it for the first time.
anything you'd like to ask someone who has read your collection,
anything at all?
often intrigued to discover the stories they’ve enjoyed the most.
And to point out to them that very little of the book is
autobiographical. In case they’re worried.
TSR: How does
it feel knowing that people are buying your book?
Especially as so many people have said such lovely things about it.
As a writer, that’s all you can ask.
What are you working on now?
I’ve just finished a novel that I began writing once the collection was
complete, so I’m having a month or so off from fiction. That’s not say
I’m not being awoken each night at 4am, ideas for the Next Big Thing
quietly grumbling. I’m thinking of something with a scene in each of
Devon’s pubs, meticulously researched.