Tell us a little about yourself – how long have you been writing? Any publications?
I started writing short stories only recently. I really buckled down in the past two years or so. I am very fortunate to have had my stories published in several places, including The Stockholm Review, The Lonely Crowd, STORGY Magazine, Split Lip Magazine, and The Writing Disorder, among others.
Specifically, tell us a bit more about your longlisted story – the inspiration behind it, the writing of it…
I've got a place for the Gothic in my heart, and I was retreating into Edgar Allen Poe at the time. I wanted to write a piece that was driven by rhythm – a sort of love song that was bound to be tragic. I was thinking about feuds and how timeless they are. About how we're all in one, if only with ourselves.
Name three short story writers you especially admire – why?
This was very hard to narrow down to three! I quickly listed fifteen. But okay, here goes: Sherman Alexie for his attention to the human spirit. He nails dry humor in the same stories that have me crying. Elizabeth Ellen for making no apologies. For laying it bare, for letting the story run. Amy Hempel for distilling states of being. Every word has weight. Every word counts.
Jessica Bonder’s 2017/18 GBP Short Story Prize longlisted story, ‘Turf’, is available to read here.