TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF – HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN WRITING? ANY PUBLICATIONS? DO YOU HAVE A DAILY WRITING ROUTINE?
I’ve been writing for about ten years. I’ve been lucky enough to have stories published in a few places including Popshot, Structo and Bomb magazine and a collection of stories also entitled Above the Fat will be published by Splice this April. Alongside writing these shorter pieces, over the past couple of years I’ve also been working on a novel so I write every morning.
SPECIFICALLY, TELL US A BIT MORE ABOUT YOUR LONGLISTED STORY – THE INSPIRATION BEHIND IT, THE WRITING OF IT...
‘Above the Fat’ started off as a description of someone cooking an egg. I used to work as a chef and I’d always wanted to write something set in a kitchen. Kitchens can be quite isolated from the outside world and I wanted to try and explore that sense of loneliness. I worked on the description of the egg cooking for some time, but it was only about a year ago that I introduced the character’s father and the changes in their relationship that emerge with his ageing. In my experience dementia throws up all manner of emotions and I was trying to explore the complex spectrum of feelings it can produce.
NAME THREE SHORT STORY WRITERS YOU ESPECIALLY ADMIRE – WHY?
Renata Adler: I don’t know if the fragments in Speedboat and Pitch Dark can be strictly classed as stories, but the tone and temper of Adler’s writing is so sharp that it always evokes an emotional tension which I have returned to often.
Deborah Levy: I am a huge fan of Deborah Levy’s work in general, and while she’s probably better known for her novels, the two collections of hers that I’ve read - Pillow Talk in Europe and other Places and Black Vodka - are wonderful. Rather than be constrained by the form the stories seem to become wilder still.
Donald Barthelme: Barthelme’s stories are often dark and surreal edge but they always manage to still be deeply humorous.
THOMAS CHADWICK grew up in Wiltshire and now splits his time between London and Ghent. He was shortlisted for the White Review Short Story Prize in 2017 and his story collection, also entitled Above the Fat, will be published by Splice in 2019.