Tag Archives: John Madera

Interview with Amber Sparks

Check out my interview with Amber Sparks, where I ask her about her new collection, The Unfinished World and Other Stories, and other things. Here’s an excerpt:

[Madera]: The stories here run the fabulist fiction gamut. You explore myth, science fiction, legend, horror, the fairy tale, etc., upending their tropes, often subtextually critiquing them. And sometimes you comment directly on genre conventions. For instance, in “The Cemetery for Lost Faces” we find an argument about what constitutes a fairy tale, some characters arguing that the “happily-ever-after is just a false front. It hides the hungry darkness inside.” What would you say motivates you to play with genre, to trespass their seeming borders? And how would you describe the “hungry darkness inside”?

Sparks: Honestly, most of it is a love for genre fiction, film, and television. The things that got me passionate about reading and writing, the things that I took the first story shapes and tropes from, were almost entirely genre: horror, sci-fi, fantasy, fairy tale. The first books I ever read were books of fairy tales my dad had from his own childhood. So I’ve been forming stories around these traditional structures and genre conventions forever, and playing with those conventions, upending them, for almost just as long. I wouldn’t say there’s an overt motivation beyond playfulness, between thinking always of ways to expand the possibilities of story. But I think if I’m being honest, feminism and an interest in outsider art, in fringe stories, probably also play a role, because there’s so much to be said about the role of women in these traditional stories and in stories outside of the traditional literary space.

Read the rest HERE.

New Fiction Forthcoming!

Happy to share that one of my fictions, “You Should Have the Body,” is forthcoming in Web Conjunctions. Thanks to the good Bradford Morrow, Micaela Morrissette, and everyone at the journal. Read dangerously, indeed.

Ear’s Mouth Must Move: Essential Interviews of William H. Gass

tumblr_inline_n6t9u5Cp6X1qa8s7nHappy to have my interview included in The Ear’s Mouth Must Move — Essential Interviews of William H. Gass, edited by Stephen Schenkenberg, alongside heavyweights like John Gardner, Thomas LeClair, and KCRW’s Bookworm‘s Michael Silverblatt, not to mention Magister Gass, himself. Apparently, my interview, “Sentenced to Depth,” is a 94-minute read.
Schenkenberg writes:
Free to all and readable on any device, the microsite collects 13 essential interviews that Gass gave between the late 1970s and 2013. It’s titled The Ear’s Mouth Must Move, a phrase of Gass’ own. The pieces feature text, related historical photography, video, and a handful of marginal notes and links that might be of interest to readers.

New Fiction Forthcoming!


Happy to share that one of my fictions, “To Have Done with the Division of Moving Bodies,” will be published in VACANCIES, Heavy Feather Review‘s upcoming double-issue.

Thanks, Jason Teal and Nathan Floom!