Fiction is just a quilt of all our own life experiences. It’s the truths we know thinly veiled as someone else’s reality. What I like about writing fiction is the details are malleable; they can be used to frame a feeling, an idea, a truth that would be cloaked differently by reality.
How does this published piece fit in with the larger thematic concerns that you see in your overall work?
A lot of my stories feature solitary characters with an emphasis on the few relationships they do have, their connection to their environment and often their bond with animals. For me this gets at the heart of my interest in how humans connect with each other and the natural world. How our denial of these connections leads to pain and suffering. Ultimately, I want to write about the universal human truth of our smallness in a giant, ongoing universe, our helplessness and pointlessness and the great uncertainty of our future singularly and as a species.
What are you influenced by?
I am influenced by the natural world. By the conversations and interactions I have with people that cut the bullshit and connect tangibly to the rhythms of the world around us that we as humans seem interested in denying. I am inspired by brilliant writing but also just the fragile, mysterious and occasionally blissful experience of being alive.
What does your typical writing schedule look like? What aspects of working do you look forward to? What aspects frustrate you?
There is no typical writing schedule! But I hear that’s a good idea, maybe I’ll try it one of these days. I love the feeling of a fully formed story just waiting to be put to paper. Sometimes they come out whole, hardly in need of my attention or revision at all. That feels amazing. Other times it’s a struggle to find the words to articulate the deeper sense I am trying to communicate. It is frustrating when a story is whole and simple and complete in my head but a mess on the page.
For fun, if you could pick one meal that matches the piece we published, what would it be and why?
For my story that is easy, it has the recipes written in it! Whisky and partridge, cooked any of the ways mentioned but always prepared with love and tenderness.
GILLIAN WILEY ROSE has had stories published here and there and is assembling them into a collection. She lives with her dog somewhere between the sea and the mountains of the Pacific Northwest, where she throws clay whisky jugs and has an acupuncture practice. She is trying to be a good human in the world and show up in support of justice and equality.