Zacharia lives in
Gainesviile, Florida. Her stories have appeared in Hobart, Opium, Keyhole, The Pinch,
Washington Square, Canteen, SmokeLong Quarterly, Juked, and
with Shellie Zacharia
How long did it take you to write all the stories in your collection?
Shellie Zacharia: Well, I was going
to say the stories were written between 2003 and 2008, but then I
realized two stories included in Now
Playing are very old. First drafts of Vibe and Petals were written in 1996.
They’re very different stories now, but those early drafts are still in
a folder in my file cabinet. Scarlet
and Cardboard Ben are the
newest pieces in the collection.
have a collection in mind when you were writing them?
a long time I was just writing stories and trying to publish them and
writing more stories. After a while, I started to think, hey, cool,
sooner or later I’ll have enough for a collection.
you choose which stories to include and in what order?
I wanted variety so the book would have an eclectic feel to it. For
order, I decided to start and end with flash fiction, and I wanted
those pieces to be lively. Then I tried to mix stories up, looking at
theme, length, style, structure, voice, etc. It took awhile. At one
point I thought about tossing all the titles in a hat and pulling out
one at a time . . .
does the word "story"
mean to you?
SZ: Hmmm. Story is one way to let
yourself fall into another world for a brief time.
Do you have a reader in mind when you write stories?
When I’m writing an early draft, I’m my reader. If it makes me smile or
laugh or just feel good and do a little dance while I’m writing, then
the story is working for me.
anything you'd like to ask someone who has read your collection,
anything at all?
SZ: I’d first want to say, Thanks
for reading! Then I’d want to ask: Did you like it? (Oh, please say
yes) . . . Which stories did you like the best? Which characters?
TSR: How does
it feel knowing that people are buying your book?
It’s crazy wonderful. Really. I mean, having a book published has been
one of my dreams since I was a kid. It’s also scary because it’s a very
public thing – here’s my mind, hope you enjoy.
What are you working on now?
SZ: I’m writing new stories and
flash fiction. I’m also putting together a chapbook of flashes.
the three most recent short story collections you've read?
SZ: Anthony Doerr’s The Shell Collector; Margaret
Luongo’s If the Heart is Lean;
Kevin Wilson’s Tunneling to the
Center of the Earth. All great collections.