EWN: Your short story collection, The Truth About Me, was published in 2017. What story within the collection had the earliest publication history outside of being in the collection, and what was that history?
LOUISE: The first story published in the collection was “What Brings You Down” in Prime Number. I had workshopped the story at the Sewanee Writer’s Conference with Richard Bausch and Erin McGraw, and their input was invaluable. I rewrote the story and submitted it to Prime Number because I had met one of the journal’s editors about a year before and he seemed like a good guy, though in the end I worked with another editor -- my guy had apparently moved on.
EWN: How did the publication of this particular collection come about? Were you solicited by the publisher, win a contest, agent submission, etc.?
LOUISE: I had entered the collection in a number of contests and submitted it to small presses for about a year with no luck. Having had an awful experience with an agent in the past, I was determined to represent the collection myself, and I felt a small press was the right place for it. Then WTAW Press took it on, and thank goodness they did, because Peg Alford Pursell was exactly the right editor for the book and has given it tremendous support.
EWN: Where do short stories fit within your life as an author? Primary form to work with, or something you write when an idea hits, or …?
LOUISE: I write short stories exclusively. I’m very comfortable with the short form and in fact prefer reading short stories to most, but not all, novels.
EWN: Where do short stories fit within your life as a reader?
LOUISE: As I said, I read a lot of short fiction. I tend to read a story, put down the book, go on to another collection, read one or two stories, picking and choosing, following my nose. So I have a lot of half-read story collections hanging around my house, but eventually they all get read.
EWN: How will you be celebrating National Short Story Month this May?
LOUISE: I will be staging a parade down Fifth Avenue. No, not really. I’ll just be writing stories as usual.
EWN: Thank you very much for your time!
LOUISE: Thank you!
Louise Marburg holds an MFA in Fiction from Columbia University's School of the Arts, and her stories have been published in many fine journals. She lives in New York City with her husband, the artist Charles Marburg.