Thursday, March 2, 2017

More on Why Do YOU Write?

This month we're hearing from the fabulous Susan Efros, author of the short story collection Girls Gone Astray.

WW: Susan, when did you start writing?

SE: In the fifth grade when I wrote a novel about my friends and volleyball.

WW: Was there something or someone that sparked your desire to write?

SE: My crazy family and wanting to escape it.

WW: What is your favorite form of writing and why?

SE: Short story- doesn’t take as long as a novel and it demands a lot of compression and concision.

WW: Do you have techniques that help to inspire you to write?

SE: Yes. I read good writing to inspire me.

WW: Who are your favorite writers and what have they taught you?

SE: Tough one. Like favorite kind of food. Depends on my mood but a few of my favorites are Raymond Carver, Lydia Davis, Mary Gaitskill, Ann Patchett, Adam Hasslett, Murakami, Mary Oliver, Michael Cunningham, Louise Erdrich, Doctorow, Ian McEwan, Francine Prose, Ann Tyler,Tobias Wolff. These writers have taught me to be spare, be true and take risks.

WW: Do you begin at the beginning, middle or end of your work?

SE: I begin at the beginning and then the story takes me to the end.

WW: Do you write longhand first, directly onto a device or do voice recording?

SE: Longhand and computer.

WW: Are you part of a writing group or class that supports you? Is this something you would advise for another writer?

SE: Yes. I am part of a writing group that has been meeting for about 5 years. I think it is a tremendous support for any serious writer.

WW: How did you know it was time to share your writing publicly?

SE: Friends told me it was time.

WW: Is your writing a form of activism? If so, in what way and what issues activate you to write?

SE: Not directly a form of activism but the issues that are of concern to me end up in my stories.

WW: Who is the greatest support in your writing and how does that impact your ability to write?

SE: My partner, Jerie Gilbert. She gives me so much space and encouragement.

WW: Is there any advice you can offer beginning writers?

SE: Practice practice practice. Overcome doubt through the sheer act of writing.

WW: Thanks Susan!

Susan Efros' work has appeared in Amelia, Ascent, Christopher Street, The Feminist Art Journal, Juked, Narrative Magazine, The Patterson Literary Review, The Paris Transcontinental and Yellow Silk. She is a frequent contributor to The San Francisco Chronicle and The Funny Times. She is the author of Walking Vanilla, a novel, and the editor of This is Women’s Work, an anthology. Susan was awarded a Marin Arts Council Individual Writers Grant in 2003 for her short fiction, “The Ozzie and Harriet Factor.” Her latest collection of short stories, Girls Gone Astray, is now available at your local bookseller or on Amazon. 

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