Just a quick hit here, and then a link to send you along to the site that deserves the traffic …
Jonathan Evison, the author of All About Lulu and the forthcoming West of Here, posted a terrific back-and-forth with Joshua Mohr, whose latest release, Termite Parade, comes on the heels of Some Things That Meant the World to Me, an audacious debut that generated a ton of praise.
There’s all kinds of great stuff . A sampling, where Mohr talks about the genesis of Termite Parade:
Termite started from an exercise I heard that the poet Robert Haas uses: he’ll spend months working on one poem, rewriting and rewritng, trying to earn that last line (the pay-off line in any poem). But this is actually just the beginning: because then Haas uses that pay-off line as the first line of a new poem (the one he’s been interested in all along). The logic is that his imagination will go to skyscraping places if he uses the “pay-off” as the beginning, to build up from it as a foundation and traverse into daring terrain.
So I wrote a short story using the image of a man dropping his girlfriend down the stairs as its climax. I worked on it for about eight months, got it to where it was ready to publish. Then I yanked the climax and used it as the point of entry to what eventually grew into Termite Parade.
Want to read the rest? Please, go here now.
(By the way, Mohr was nice enough to participate in a Q&A here back in August 2009, just after Some Things That Meant the World to Me came out.)