I just discovered this wonderful interview with Liz Prato conducted by Noah Dundas of Cold Waters Press and posted about a month ago.
Liz has a no-nonsense approach to the craft of writing–and editing. I asked her to be the editor of our upcoming Forest Avenue Press short story anthology because she has great instincts, an extensive collection of published stories, and an incredible work ethic. Which caused her to power through 167 submitted stories, and after months of reading and rereading and consideration, she culled them down to a divine 22. Which will be published in May 2014.
Noah asked her great questions, including about where stories come from, making time to write, and branding oneself as a writer. Liz’s answers are always heartfelt and refreshing; she says what she means and believes in a world where social media often seems overtaken by people bent on disguising their real selves.
Here are a few highlights:
Noah in introducing Liz: “The lines of her stories, like the memories conjured up by an old photograph, have a way of sticking with you long after you’ve set it down. ”
Liz on teaching creative writing: “Teaching has helped deepen my understanding of what a story – fiction or nonfiction – can be. And it’s so exciting to see a student get a concept and make a big leap in their writing! But it’s also hard for me to exude that level of energy on a regular basis.”
Liz on the promotional duties expected of authors these days: “Your platform can only be successful if you’re producing good writing, and you can only produce good writing by doing it and studying it and reading it. Not by tweeting.”
Check out the rest of Liz’s interview with Noah here.
Kevin Sampsell and Cari Luna
Two Portland writers both have new novels out from Tin House. Kevin Sampsell’s This Is Between Us launched last Friday night at Powell’s. It’s an intimate, intensely personal series of scenes and vignettes. They’re organized by year, but within each year, the male narrator skips from moment to moment, each one as vivid as the last, cycling through doubts, joys, parenting, sex, and quiet moments–the stuff of life.
Cari Luna’s The Revolution of Every Day follows five characters living in a squat in 1994/95 New York City. I’m only halfway through, but her prose is beautiful, and she plays out the relationships between the characters against the backdrop of their struggle to stay in their building–this home they’ve inhabited, fixed up by scrounging for materials, and use as a weekly soup kitchen.
Cari runs “Writer, With Kids,” an interview series on writers who are parents, and she recently interviewed Kevin Sampsell to commemorate his launch. I especially love this quote from Kevin: “I’m sure I logged a lot of hours of bad writing, pre-fatherhood. When you have your first kid though, you quickly start learning how to prioritize your time. ”