- What’s the worst thing about writing?
Wanting to write and not having the time. I’ve been traveling a lot lately and something in my brain shuts off when I’m away from my desk and books and chair. In a hotel room, it’s pretty much guaranteed that no writing will take place. Just lots of Law and Order watching and self-loathing.
- Have you read any good books about writing, or do you stay away from such things?
Ben Percy’s essay collection, THRILL ME, explores some of the similarities and differences between literary fiction and genre fiction. The essays are accessible and engagingly written for writers at all levels, and it’s particularly fun imagining Ben’s one-of-a-kind voice as you read them: https://www.graywolfpress.org/blogs/most-terrifying-story-youll-ever-hear
- Describe your thoughts on writing (either your own or in general) using as many power verbs as possible.
Writing frustrates and confounds. It interrupts dinner and weddings and sleep; it doesn’t have manners. It demands attention, attention, attention like that needy friend you sometimes want to jettison but secretly can’t imagine your days without.
- What is it about your discipline (fiction/poetry/nonfiction/other) that draws you to it?
When I first came to the United States, I didn’t speak English and was very slow to develop my language skills. Because of this, I constantly watched people, studied them, assumed what might be going on in their minds because I couldn’t understand what was coming out of their mouths. I’ve been doing much the same ever since, using fiction as a means of understanding people, real and imagined.
- What is your most re-read book, if any, and why?
I re-read J.M. Coetzee’s DISGRACE every five years or so. It’s vicious and brutal, angry but stylistically spare. I find something new to admire every time I read it and will continue going back to it until that sense of discovery ends.
Bonus question: If you won a trip anywhere in the known, unknown, and fictional universe(s), where would you go and what would be your first item of business once you arrived?
My childhood self would want to be miniaturized and go live with THE BORROWERS for a week.
I could not agree more about The Borrowers. Come out TONIGHT, April 11th at 7 pm at Charmington’s to hear Jung and our other fantastic readers share their words!