October 16, 2018 § Leave a comment
What a pleasure it was to spend part of a recent afternoon having this wide-ranging conversation with Colorado novelist Mark Stevens on The Rocky Mountain Writer podcast.
We discussed many topics of interest to writers and readers, including A Field Guide to Murder & Fly Fishing, travel and fiction, Ecuadorian volcanoes, Venezuela’s Orinoco basin, Eastern Cuba, fiction vs autobiography, the importance of place in fiction, dropping acid and pushing the bounds of objective reality, interiority and loneliness, The Grateful Dead and the Eleusinian Mysteries, fly fishing as metaphor, Ursula K. LeGuin, William Golding’s The Inheritors, Newport MFA & the Cuba Writers Program, and a recap of a talk I gave on “The Essentials of Voice” at RMFW’s Colorado Gold conference in September, 2018.
Listen to the entire podcast here. Mark also did a wonderful followup print interview here, in which we talked about life experience as a point of departure for fiction, the deep sources of story ideas, more on why I think dreams and hallucinations shouldn’t be off-limits for fiction writers, place-based writing as a response to environmental crisis, the challenge of endings, some of my favorite writers, and more. Enjoy!
September 28, 2015 § Leave a comment
Hey everyone, very pleased to announce the publication of my story, “The Dragon of Conchagua,” in the latest issue of Saranac Review.
In the story, a troubled former Peace Corps volunteer returns to Ecuador to climb a high-altitude volcano, where he is plagued by disturbingly vivid memories. This is a subject that has been haunting me for a long time, since the early nineties, in fact, when I was doing quite a bit of work in Ecuador and exploring the evocative páramo in the “Avenida de los Volcanes” near Quito. Its interesting how long actual experiences have to gestate before they can emerge as fiction—although the truth is that this story, like most of my published stories, has gone through literally dozens of drafts, often over a period of many years.
An earlier version was shortlisted for the Tucson Festival of Books Literary Awards, but this is the first time it’s been released to the world at large. I’m especially thrilled about this one because Saranac Review is a well-regarded, well-put-together literary journal, and this issue looks particularly good. You can order the paperback or PDF copy of the journal here.