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Jai Clare

Website: JaiClare.com

Jai Clare was born in South Africa, brought up in southwest England and now lives in London. She has been published in The London Magazine, Agni, The Barcelona Review, Bonfire, Nemonymous, Pedestal Magazine, and Night Train, amongst others.

Short story collections

The Cusp of Something (Elastic Press, 2007) 

Reviewed by Joel Willans

Interview with Jai Clare

The Short Review: How long did it take you to write all the stories in your collection?

Jai Clare: The oldest was written in 1998. All others since then. I discarded many that some have thought I should have included. But they felt different. A different style maybe. I also excluded my SF-ish type stories – see how tentative I am about classification!

TSR: Did you have a collection in mind when you were writing them?

JC: Not at all. These just evolved. The SF-ish stories (have been published in various places) did come as a collection in mind – each story throwing up the next of the previous installment so to speak but I doubt they will ever be published as a collection.

TSR: How did you choose which stories to include and in what order?

JC: I chose what I consider my best stories – and those with some kind of thematic development. There is a pattern – however loose in the placing. Tried to follow some kind of order in terms of introduction, logical consequence to suggestions in the first half etc. in fact I tried to make the first stories more positive.

TSR: What does the word "story" mean to you?

JC:  It means an exploration of events feelings possibilities in words- preferable as lyrical as possible

TSR: Do you have a "reader" in mind when you write stories?

JC: Yes – ME! I do have a group of well-read fellow writers with whom if a story doesn’t hit in some way then I need to look at the piece again – not every person but if no one "gets" it then it has problems.

TSR: Is there anything you'd like to ask someone who has read your
collection, anything at all?

JC: Did it take you somewhere? Did it affect you in some way – either positively or negatively?

TSR: How does it feel knowing that people are buying your book?

JC: Weird… and I am thankful! CARRY ON!

TSR: What are you working on now?

JC:I am working on a thriller novel and a bizarre little short story with a odd title. When I can that is!

TSR: What are the three most recent short story collections you've read?

JC: Rusty Barnes Breaking it Down – a great collection of lust and bizarreness! White Fire – Further Fantastic Literature edited by Alberto Manguel – fabulous collection, some haunting stories. The Beach by J G Ballard – Ballard at his sparse frightening surreal self.