Interview with writer Christian Fennell

cover for TorrentsToday’s special guest author is Christian Fennell and he’s chatting with me about his work of short literary fiction, Torrents of Our Time.

Christian Fennell’s essays and short stories have appeared in a number of international magazines, literary journals, and collected works. He was a columnist and the fiction editor at the Prague Revue.

What do you enjoy most about writing short stories?
There’s several things I enjoy about writing short stories. One, you’re not locked into one narrative telling for a long period of time, unlike with a novel, where, within the first page, you’re locked in to a certain style of writing for the full run. Two, you can get up inside of a short story and live there, from start to finish. Three, they allow you to stretch as a writer, to try different things, that you might not want to try with a novel. Four, I find them to be a great break, and diversion, from writing a novel. They allow you to live and write with different characters, settings, and writing styles. Of course, it delays finishing the novel, but to me, the delay is worth it.

Can you give us a little insight into a few of your short stories – perhaps some of your favorites?
Each one is different from the next one, and I really like that. Not always different, in all ways, but always in some way. There’s some that may share the same writing techniques, or, setting, or even characters, but you’re always inside of a different story, in one way, or another. It’s also hard to separate yourself from how the story came to you, and the writing of it. Did it come fast? Or was it more of a frustrating, longer process? I tend to, overall, like the ones that are a little more technical—the writing. But perhaps that’s just because I enjoy writing these the most? Idk, I like Blood-Red, I like An Old Man and a Boy, I like A Look Back … I guess those ones.

What genre are you inspired to write in the most? Why?
I don’t write to genre, I just write.

What exciting story are you working on next?
I’m working on my second novel, my first one, The Fiddler in the Night, comes out January 1, 2021.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I like this question, because I’m always interested in other writers’ answers. For me, I was first hooked on reading and writing around the age of 12. I’d write these little short stories and plays – and commercials (very Andy Warhol!). In high school – poetry (but don’t tell anyone), and then after university, I travelled for two years, filling up notebook after notebook, with – well, idk? Mostly, if I remember right, some substance-aided run-on brilliance. Kidding. It was crap. When I was done travelling, I started to work in film and television, crewing, and on the side, writing scripts and making short films. So I guess, once the first thing I had written was produced, right around then. Shortly after this, I was paid to write scripts, so definitely then.

How do you research markets for your work, perhaps as some advice for writers?
My advice to writers? Fall in love with your ability to bend words to your will. Forget everything else. Find the joy. Remember always, there are no absolutes. Nada. None. Nothing is true. Other than perhaps, make it good, and then go back and make it a hell of a lot better than that.

What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
I don’t have one fixed place to write – I mean I do, I just rarely use it. I love writing outside barefoot. This is absolutely the best, and my go to every time. I listen to insanely loud music, and only through earbuds, and only when writing new words, or re-writing, but never when editing.

As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Obviously, a successful, never having done time, owner of a cartel. It was the 70s.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Thank you. What else is there to say? Other than a heartfelt, sincere thank you.

Thank you for being here today, Christian. All the best with your writing!

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