Sunday, July 19, 2015

We are Alternating Press interview.

We really totally are. And we are most appreciative too. Totally. Excerpt? Cool.

I like that you brought up anxieties. Many of your books’ characters seem to be working through anxieties of their own, as well. Do you find that fiction helps, as a way to process your own anxieties?

I’m glad to be of assistance. And I am really interested in anxiety, though particularly as a means for exploring how or why we act, or don’t. How does anxiety—among other things: fear, confusion, joy, ego, depression, envy—serve as an obstacle to being in healthy relationships or engaging in healthy behaviors? How do these things impact our ability to communicate with those we love, or might love, and undermine our ability to be as great, or fulfilled—that’s a lot of or, sorry—as we might have been. And the characters who struggle with those things are the kinds of characters I’m interested in writing about. Some of them, like the characters in my debut novel, Lucky Man, are much like I am, and others, like the lead characters in my novels, My Father’s House or You Can Make Him Like You, or the lead protagonists in a number of the stories in The New York Stories, especially the trio of linked stories—“Shooting Stick,” “No Nothing,” and “Vision”—run into situations I run into, but make decisions that I would not make. All of which is interesting to me. Now, does writing about anxiety help me to process my anxieties? Only slightly. Like running, it’s an outlet and a form of managing my anxieties. But it’s more like fertile ground for my writing than a way to process it. It’s calming, even therapeutic, but it’s not therapy. I don’t necessarily understand any of it any better, but I do get to wallow in it in ways that are productive and interesting.

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