This particular interview, beyond being interesting, is one I was excited to hear about as I'm a fan of every aspect - Night Train Magazine is a top notch literary journal that not so long ago made the decision to publish strictly online, and Rusty Barnes does a fantastic job editing it. I think Press 53 has maybe the most exciting fall 2007 catalogue of anybody going (Surreal South, Quinn Dalton and Amy Knox Brown have all been mentioned on this page). I also have really enjoyed the stories of Curtis Smith, with a couple from this collection having been in the two previous issues of Hobart, and mentioned here - specifically his "My Totally Awesome Funeral."
"One of your many strengths as a writer is your long, rhythmic sentences. I'm thinking in particular of places like the ending of 'Beneath the Net', the other story you published with us in our first online issue. Often I'll see a story end with a longer sentence, maybe as a final rhetorical this-is-the-end flourish, but you use these consistently throughout your stories. Do those come naturally for you, or do you edit your way toward them? Talk about your process a little, if you would.
I do tend to punch it up a bit at the end. Drum roll, please, right? But I enjoy putting a final period at the end of a breathless run. I enjoy the grasping feel of sentences like them, a sort of last desperate lunge toward something better, something somehow redeeming or enlightening. As a side note, "Beneath the Net" was without a doubt the story I struggled the most with in the collection. It's four pages long, but I wrestled with it for over a year on and off. Perhaps the only things that remain from the original draft are an image or two. Something in it wanted to be written, but I couldn't hear or see it clearly enough. I'm glad it finally fell together."
Wander over and read more!
The folks at the Hobart blog have declared Press 53 to be their small press of the month, and also have great things to say about Curtis Smith and Press 53.