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5 BURNING QUESTIONS WITH JOE COSTAL

  1. What’s your least favorite thing about writing?

The fame. Definitely. I mean, I try to stay a regular guy. I’m out, having a cheeseburger with my family this one time, and this young girl just keeps coming up to us, and it’s embarrassing. Fine…I asked for this lifestyle, sure. Gosh darn it, my kids are just kids.

So, finally, I’m like, “Miss, I’m out with my family…please leave us alone.”

Then she’s like, “Sir, I’m your waitress.”

She eventually went away.

  1. Which author would you like to have a drink with (Dead or alive. Them, not you).

Capri Suns with Sun Tzu.

  1. Who is your favorite author that you don’t know personally? Who is your favorite author that you do know personally?

I had the pleasure of meeting Celeste Ng and Tom Perrotta through the amazing GrubStreet in Boston, and I think they’re both geniuses. But they’re both so cool. So funny and sweet. I’m not half as talented, and I’m obnoxious.

I don’t know them personally. But I am privileged to know so many brilliant authors who manage to be beautiful artists and top-notch humans. I could name dozens who have shaped my wok and my life. But…Peter Murphy, Emari DiGiorgio and Sonya Larson, as stand-ins for the dozens of writers I have become friends with through them and the amazing work they do in our industry.

Oh, and Michelle Junot is pretty groovy.

  1. What about your discipline (fiction, poetry, etc) do you wish you were better at?

The writing part. I have always felt the writing itself is the only thing keeping me from being a great writer. I already own the clothes and the disposition.

  1. What kind or creative rituals or patterns do you have?

I try to express each scene I write through dance. Otherwise it’s just a lot of nail-biting and self-bullying.

Bonus question: if you were a can of something, what would you be?

Whoop ass. I want people all over the globe threatening to open ME.

~

A+ for can of whoop ass.

Come out to Writers & Words next week, TONIGHT, 7pm at Charmington’s Cafe to hear Joe and the rest of our awesome lineup! Click here to see the facebook event!

Joe Costal must be old-fashioned because he years for properly punctuated texts and non-tweeting Presidents. His writing has appeared in dozens of magazines and journals, most recently published by Barrelhouse, Quirk Books & The Maine Review. An excerpt from his unpublished novel is forthcoming in Painted Bride. Joe teaches writing at Stockton University. He recently presented a workshop on voice at Grub Street’s The Muse & Marketplace in Boston. He lives at the Jersey Shore with his four children.

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5 BURNING QUESTIONS WITH DIANE POMERANTZ

  1. What’s your least favorite thing about writing?

Getting started…(and writing reports)

  1. Which author would you like to have a drink with (Dead or alive. Them, not you).

Joseph Campbell or Arthur Miller

  1. Who is your favorite author that you don’t know personally?Who is your favorite author that you do know personally?

Ursula Hegl & Jacquelyn Mitchard (respectivly).

  1. What about your discipline (fiction, poetry, etc) do you wish you were better at?

Being spontaneously metaphorical

  1. What kind or creative rituals or patterns do you have?

Even though I use the computer to write I must have five sharpened pencils and a full pad of fresh paper when I start to write

Bonus question: if you were a can of something, what would you be?

I would be a can of baked beans.

~

Come out to Writers & Words next week, September 11th at 7pm at Charmington’s Cafe to hear Diane and the rest of our awesome lineup! Click here to see the facebook event!

Dr. Diane Pomerantz is a clinical psychologist who has been in practice working with children, adolescents, and adults in the Baltimore, Maryland area for over thirty-five years. She has done extensive work in the area of trauma and child abuse and research in the area of personality development of abused children. She currently runs Healing Through Writing groups in her practice. She is a breast cancer survivor and has two wonderful grown children. She and her shaggy dog, Rug, live amidst tall trees on the outskirts of Baltimore, Maryland. Recent publications: Lost in the Reflecting Pool: a memoir – She Writes Press. Recent awards: Readers Favorite Award; 4 categories – Human Relations Indie Awards; Foreword Review Indie Book Award; Book Excellence Award. She is is an expert blogger for Psychology Today, and has had her work published in Motherwell Magazine, Story Circle Journal and She Writes.

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5 BURNING QUESTIONS WITH CLYNTHIA BURTON GRAHAM

  1. What’s your least favorite thing about writing?

Holding a story inside until l can get to it, makes me a not nice person to be around until l get the bones down.

  1. Which author would you like to have a drink with (Dead or alive. Them, not you).

Too hard to pinpoint one (sure you’ve heard that before 😊) Stephen King, J. California Cooper, and N. K. Jemisin are at the top of my list.

  1. Who is your favorite author that you don’t know personally?Who is your favorite author that you do know personally?

The ones above and more. Do know: Victoria Adams Kennedy

  1. What about your discipline (fiction, poetry, etc) do you wish you were better at?

Catching my mistakes in the first revision. Ha.ha.

  1. What kind or creative rituals or patterns do you have?

Anything visceral and paratactic. I read a lot of different styles, but that’s why I really love John Hawkes and Cormac. Their sentences are like the gold standard of sentences for me. It’s like you can almost eat their words.

Bonus question: if you were a can of something, what would you be?

Dr. Pepper. My sugary drug of choice.

~

Come out to Writers & Words next week, September 11th at 7pm at Charmington’s Cafe to hear Clynthia and the rest of our awesome lineup! Click here to see the facebook event!

Clynthia Burton Graham is a passionate fiction writer who explores emotional, impactful, and defining moments in the lives of people of color. Her inspiration has been honed through the years. From listening to her aunt’s, grandmothers, and mother while hiding under the kitchen table to slinking beneath the window of the neighborhood barber shop, to walking the streets of Baltimore conversing with the homeless to the elite, she has cultivated the art of storytelling in her prose. She is a MFA graduate from the Creative Writing & Publishing Arts Program at the University of Baltimore, where she resides. Her work has been recognized by the Maryland Writer’s Association, the Hurston/Wright Foundation and her short stories have appeared in Persimmon Tree Literary Magazine, Pilcrow & Dagger Literary Journal, Academy of the Heart and mind, Skelter, and others.

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5 BURNING QUESTIONS WITH M.K. RAINEY

  1. What is your first memory of writing for fun?

My first memories are really of writing. I learned to read very early and my grandmother gave me my first journal at age 5. I’ve been writing in journals ever since and have a trunk full of over 30 filled books in my apartment. Those early journals are really funny because they’re mostly drawings. Here’s an example (see photo at the bottom). One of my partner’s favorite things that I’ve written was an entry in one of my high school journals where I wrote, “The world is like a cigarette.” I’ve no idea what it means anymore, but I’m pretty sure I still believe that.

  1. How many drafts = done?

Hahahahahahahaha.

See the previously attached picture.*

* photo below

  1. What is your favorite book or favorite book-of-the-moment?

Hmmm. Favorite book is really hard. The Lime Twig by John Hawkes, Child of God by Cormac McCarthy, anything Robert Coover, or McGlue by Ottessa Moshfegh are all up there. But I have a David Mitchell quote from Cloud Atlas tattooed on my arm, so probably that.

  1. What is it about your discipline that gets you the most excited?

Oh man. Writing has always been the one time when my ego would disappear. The infinite spiral of anxiety, worry, depression, etc. that makes me up disappears when I write and I feel like I can breathe. It’s just me and the story. I chase that feeling.

  1. What’s your favorite word or words? What about it/them appeals to you?

Anything visceral and paratactic. I read a lot of different styles, but that’s why I really love John Hawkes and Cormac. Their sentences are like the gold standard of sentences for me. It’s like you can almost eat their words.

*Previously referred to photo:

IMG_3305

~

“I write and I feel like I can breathe.” – This. Right. Here. Thank you for sharing!

Come out to Writers & Words in a few weeks, August 14th at 7pm at Charmington’s Cafe to hear M.K. Rainey and the rest of our awesome lineup! Click here to see the facebook event!

 

M.K. Rainey is a writer, teacher, and editor from Little Rock, Arkansas. She is the winner of the 2017 Bechtel Prize at Teachers & Writers Magazine, the 2017 Lazuli Literary Group Writing Contest and the 2018 Montana Award for Fiction from Whitefish Review. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Collagist, 3AM Magazine, Atticus Review, Fiction Southeast, and more. She co-hosts the Dead Rabbits Reading Series and lives in Harlem with her dog. Sometimes she writes things the dog likes. 

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5 BURNING QUESTIONS WITH TYRESE COLEMAN

  1. What is your first memory of writing for fun?

My first writing memory for fun was actually in response to an assignment in kindergarten. I wrote a book called Shirley’s Blocks, titled after my Aunt Shirley, about a girl who really wanted a particular set of blocks, but was unable to have them. I remember creating the illustrations and dictating the story to my teacher (writing the whole story was a little too advance at five years old). I loved creating that book and it stuck with me throughout my life. My teacher submitted the book to a nationwide contest and I won a gold medal.

  1. How many drafts = done?

Well…generally, its about two to three, however a first draft can take me years because I edit as I write. So, but the time I am done with a first draft, the piece is pretty much complete. But this is for stories and essays. Check back in with me when I start something longer. I think that will be a different process entirely.

  1. What is your favorite book or favorite book-of-the-moment?

I don’t know if I have a favorite book, so my favorite book-of-the-moment would be An American Marriage by Tayari Jones. I absolutely loved that book.

  1. What is it about your discipline that gets you the most excited?

Figuring out how to say what I see in my head. And then, figuring out how to say it in a way that no one else has said before. Its challenging, but when you get it right, it feels so good.

  1. What’s your favorite word or words? What about it/them appeals to you?

A friend of mine pointed out that I use the word “slick” a lot. I think subconsciously, it’s a favorite word of mine. I’ve used it in pretty much everything I’ve written without even realizing it.

Bonus question: Why is a raven like a writing desk?  

I hear “raven” and I automatically think Baltimore Ravens. The Baltimore Ravens are like a writing desk because I am not fan of either one of them. The NFL is trash (yeah, I said it!).

~

Slick is an excellent word, and you are an excellent writer, Tyrese.

Come out to Writers & Words in a few weeks, August 14th at 7pm at Charmington’s Cafe to hear Tyrese and the rest of our awesome lineup! Click here to see the facebook event!

 

Tyrese Coleman

Tyresecoleman.com

Writer of the forthcoming collection, How to Sit, from Mason Jar Press.

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5 BURNING QUESTIONS WITH DAN BRADY

  1. What is your first memory of writing for fun?

I started writing comic books in third grade after taking an illustration class over summer break. I love creating cliff-hanger endings for each issue and trying to come up with witty dialogue between my heroes and villains. I still have a bunch of them in my basement.

  1. How many drafts = done?

It varies but the average is probably around 10. That’s usually one solid first draft and then loads of tinkering with the tiny pieces to see where they fit best.

  1. What is your favorite book or favorite book-of-the-moment?

Favorite book of all time is Jack Gilbert’s The Great Fires. For poetry, my book of the moment is Catie Rosemurgy’s new Bloof chapbook called First the Burning. I also just finished Tommy Orange’s There There, which is some of the best fiction I’ve read in a long time.

  1. What is it about your discipline that gets you the most excited?

I love that poetry—both writing and reading it—helps me understand myself and the world better. My favorite poems are very generous in the way the interpret the world and they’re always showing me new things to be grateful for and excited about. Each poem is a new way to open one’s eyes.

  1. What’s your favorite word or words? What about it/them appeals to you?

I’ve always loved the word “autumnal.” I love the fall with its crisp weather, changing colors, and sense of fleetingness. I like that “autumnal” has a quality of allusion to it. It’s not autumn, but it’s like autumn or representative of autumn. In stories and poems and songs, I like when it feels like something is sadly coming to an end but is not quite ended yet. That’s autumnal.

Bonus question: Why is a raven like a writing desk?  

A raven is like a writing desk because they’re both harbingers of death, metaphorically at least.

~

I would LOVE to see some of your 3rd-grade comic books, Dan. That would be amazing.

Come out to Writers & Words in a few weeks, August 14th at 7pm at Charmington’s Cafe to hear Dan and the rest of our awesome lineup! Click here to see the facebook event!

Dan Brady
http://www.danbrady.org
Author of the poetry collection Strange Children (Publishing Genius, 2018), and two chapbooks. Poetry Editor of Barrelhouse. Lives in Arlington, Virginia with his wife and two kids.

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5 BURNING QUESTIONS WITH GRANT GOODMAN

  1. What is your first memory of writing for fun?

The title of the story was Super Spider. Get this: it was about a talking spider who had super powers. He lived in a world full of other talking bugs who needed an awful lot of saving. This was in third grade and it is pretty clear that my interests have basically stayed the same, no matter how old I get.

  1. How many drafts = done?

Ugh. Let’s see. There’s the very first draft (“filling the sandbox with sand”) that no one gets to see. The second draft (“getting rid of unnecessary sand”). Probably a third draft (“building basic sand castles”). The third draft goes to my editor and some beta readers. Once those come back, it goes through at least two more drafts before I’m ready to send it out into the world.

  1. What is your favorite book or favorite book-of-the-moment?

Let’s try this “living in the moment” thing that everyone’s talking about. In June, The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness hooked me. I did not want to put it down at all. The main character lives on a planet where a chemical agent made it so that everyone can hear the thoughts all men and animals…and it killed all of the women. Definitely meant for older teen readers.

  1. What is it about your discipline that gets you the most excited?

I love dreaming up new worlds full of magic and tech. My creativity is definitely my super power, so when I get to use it at maximum force, I really feel like I’m in my element. You know how Aang sometimes enters the Avatar the state and he feels unstoppable? It’s like that.

  1. What’s your favorite word or words? What about it/them appeals to you?

Currently, my favorite words are “You’re welcome.” I am SO behind the times here, but I saw Moana for the first time in July and loved it. Ever since, I’ve been playing the song, “You’re Welcome” each morning. It makes me smile.

Bonus question: Why is a raven like a writing desk?  

Both of them would be terrible ice cream flavors.

~

Ha, they WOULD both be terrible ice cream flavors, you’re right. Love that.

Come out to Writers & Words in a few weeks, August 14th at 7pm at Charmington’s Cafe to hear Grant and the rest of our awesome lineup! Click here to see the facebook event!

Grant Goodman
www.GrantGoodmanBooks.com
Author of the Agent Darcy & Ninja Steve book series.