SELFIE INTERVIEW | Nicole Miyashiro

What captures your interest most in your work, now, as a reader?

I’m interested in lyrical flow and urgency, and savor moments when all other story elements blend to elevate these two and keep the story moving.

What are you working on now?

Right now I’m working on a collection of fictionalized vignettes — linked to “Spectators” and “I Will” — that explores the psyches of those who mobilized around one man’s dream to introduce orca captivity to Seattle (and to the US). In between, I work on other short stories and poetry, always poetry.

Who and what are your artistic influences?

For me, it all started with Joyce Carol Oates and Tim O’Brien – add to that Caitlin Horrocks, Otessa Moshfegh, Ito Romo, Melinda Moustakis, Melissa Febos, Dorianne Laux, Ted Kooser, Lorrie Moore, Anthony Doerr, and more… News reports, visual art, film, and music/song lyrics have also had their influence along the way…

Read “Spectators” by Nicole Miyashiro

This killer whale broke surface twelve feet out, arching its oily mass out from the water, and then it dove, aimed in our direction. One of us grabbed the shotgun. Our catch was good, but orcas could eat our salmon right through the nets, swarm us in packs of up to forty. We knew the risks. It was the wretched ‘blackfish.’ We’d heard how a pack of them had come up on a whaler’s catch recently, attacking its haul in a fury of relayed darts and tears, mucking up the water with their methodical peeling back of the blue whale’s skin…. READ MORE

SELFIE INTERVIEW | Amy Soscia

Amy Soscia earned her MFA in Writing from Albertus Magnus College in New Haven, Connecticut. She has been published in Chicken Soup For The Soul: Recovering From Brain Injuries, 898 (literary journal), The Westie Imprint, Down In The Dirt Magazine, and One Hundred Voices Vol. II. She received an honorable mention in the 2015 Writer’s Digest Annual Writing Contest for her short story Driven To Distraction. Amy is currently working on her first novel entitled The Frozen Game. She can be contacted at pawsnwrite@verizon.net or at www.amysoscia.com.

Eckleburg: What drives, inspires, and feeds your artistic work?

Amy Soscia: My writing is inspired by human drives and the dynamics and of relationships. Many people want the same things, yet go about obtaining them in such vastly different ways. The things that pull us together and push us apart influence me the most.

Eckleburg: If you had to arm wrestle a famous writer, poet or artist, either living or dead, who would it be? Why? What would you say to distract your opponent and go for the win?

Amy Soscia: The writer would be David Foster Wallace. I wish I’d had a chance to meet him and to understand his as a person while also coming away with some understanding of his drive and brilliance. I don’t think I’ll ever get over his death. To distract him, I’d turn the television on and say “Have you heard about this show?” I’m almost certain I read about how his attention could be easily lured by television, how he thought television was a huge propaganda machine, and yet, how tempting it was to sit around as a passive recipient and let one’s mind be filled by images and stories.

Eckleburg: What would you like the world to remember about you and your work?

Amy Soscia: I hope the world remembers me as a decent writer whose sense of humor was matched by her tenderness.

Eckleburg thanks Amy Soscia. Do you have new work published here at Eckleburg or elsewhere? Add your Selfie Interview and share the news with our 10,000+ reading and writing community. If you have a new book out or upcoming, join our Eckleburg Book Club and let our readers know about it.

SELFIE INTERVIEW | John Picard

John Picard is a native of Washington, D.C. currently living in North Carolina. He received his MFA from the UNC-Greensboro. He has published fiction and nonfiction in New England Review, Narrative, The Gettysburg Review, Iowa Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, and elsewhere. A collection of his stories, Little Lives, was published by Main Street Rag. Find more at johnmpicard.com

Eckleburg: What captures your interest most in your work, now, as a reader of your work?

John Picard:

Its desperate elements. Apparently, I like to mix the commonplace with the exotic or offbeat.  Some of my favorite stories, and I hope my best, have characters with contrasting speech, status, and sophistication.

Eckleburg: What are you working on now?

John Picard:

I write mostly short stories and creative nonfiction. Recently I wrote a story and a personal essay based on the same real-life experience (a health scare).  Afterwards, I discovered that I had occasionally plagiarized myself, using the same words to describe events, relying on the same pieces of dialogue. It was a reminder of how similar the two forms are, of how it is sometimes hard to know the difference. After all, they both have an emotional arc, they both tell a story.  Norman Mailer said that any work of transcendent prose qualified as fiction. I’m not so sure about that, but it is one possible solution to the quandary.

Eckleburg: Who and what are your artistic influences?

John Picard:

My major influences are writers, of course–Nabokov, Salinger, Barthelme, for starters. But I am also inspired, if that is the right word, by the challenge–and the fun–of trying to bring the meretricious world of popular culture into the rarified realm of literature.

Eckleburg thanks John Picard. Do you have new work published here at Eckleburg or elsewhere? Add your Selfie Interview and share the news with our 10,000+ reading and writing community. If you have a new book out or upcoming, join our Eckleburg Book Club and let our readers know about it.