Monday, September 24, 2012

Aaron Teel in Conversation

You can read two excellent interviews with Sixth Annual Rose Metal Press Chapbook Contest winner Aaron Teel this week in SmokeLong Quarterly and the Flash Fiction Chronicles on Every Day Fiction here and here respectively.

In the former, Aaron says: "“Don’t speak in clichés,” is something I heard a mother say to her son at a restaurant. He’d said he was so hungry he could eat a horse, and she reprimanded him, so he sat quietly for half a minute, thinking, and then said he was so hungry he could eat an elephant. I liked the idea of a mother not wanting her child to use phrases like that, but the literal notion of trying not to speak in clichés is really just a frame for this kind of revealing little watershed moment between a mother and her twin sons."

In the latter, he says: "Perversely, making the switch to fiction allowed me to see the characters more clearly than I had. They didn’t want to behave like the people they were based on, so letting them out of that box allowed them to act and react to their environment it ways that felt authentic but also heightened. The world in the book is kind of fantastic, but only because it’s seen through Cherry’s eyes and his perspective. The reality of the place is kind of dreary and depressing, but his perception of everything is so heightened it takes on a kind of hyperreal aura. I started to think of it as magical realism, but without anything magical actually happening, apart from the sleeping widow who may or may not have actually existed."

Thanks to Tara Laskowski and Gay Degani for the interviewing prowess!


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