ShatterColors Standard Interview -- Author Version: Jared
consists of 15 pre-set questions. Authors have published
at least one novel or short story/poetry collection.)
Why did you begin writing, and how long have you been
began hearing literature almost as soon as I
could talk, at about the age of two. My mother and grandmother
both read aloud to me. Swift, Longfellow, Whittier, Holmes,
Poe, the brothers Grimm, James Whitcomb Riley, Stevenson,
Eugene Field, Andrew Lang’s Blue and Green Fairy
Books. An older cousin told me stories from classical
mythology. From him I learned about Pandora, Persephone,
Jason and the Argonauts, the Minotaur, Daedelus and Icarus,
Odysseus and Polyphemus, and so on.
writing begins in school, or thereabouts – for those
of us who are fortunate enough to attend a school. First
you must learn your letters. Within a few years, for some
of us, writing becomes a serious undertaking, and we continue
to work at it for the rest of our lives.
What does your writing routine consist of?
my freshman year in college, in the mid-50s, I was composing
directly on a manual typewriter. Compared to which, word-processing,
when it came along in the early 1980s, was like warp drive.
Have specific events ever flung you into an extended and
productive period of creativity?
have not. I am a tortoise, not a hare. Also, I am a hedgehog,
and not a fox. See my essay, “Autopsy”,
which considers the world of the hedge.
What are common sources of inspiration?
don’t know. It’s always a surprise.
What does a book need to do to get you to read it from
beginning to end?
said that good writing should be fresh and inevitable.
Who are some of the authors you most admire?
am particularly moved by Turgenev’s A Sportsman’s
Notebook, and by a book it influenced, Sarah Orne
Jewett’s Country of the Pointed Firs. Twain
was never better than in Life on the Mississippi.
My favorite novellas are The Aspern Papers and
Un Coeur Simple.
How familiar are you with the literary canon?
a long life I have been able to read a considerable number
What's your take on politics and literary endeavor?
you can shake oil and water until they seem to come together,
but usually you cannot.
What are your feelings about formal vs. free verse?
always admired Bo Jackson for doing well at both football
and baseball. And Benny Goodman and Wynton Marsalis for
playing both jazz and classical.
Do you feel "flash" fiction (300 words or less)
is a viable form, or nothing more than a writing exercise?
regret that I am not familiar with the term, and must
When not writing, what do you do for amusement?
my youth I was an amateur pianist. I developed a special
interest in ragtime and what is called “novelty
piano.” I was quite fond of the work of Zez Confrey
and other keyboard composers of his era.
present I am re-habbing a couple of old houses in my neighborhood.
Such work has its entertaining moments – as when
you discover strange drawings on the plaster walls, beneath
the layers of old wallpaper. Or when you retrieve an iron
tool or a shard of pottery from an abandoned cistern.
What's one of the most annoying things you can think of?
cell phone, in the hands of an inconsiderate boob, is
probably the most annoying device ever invented. But my
pet peeve is reserved for people who stand and talk in
front of busy doorways, utterly oblivious to others who
need to get through.
Briefly describe what you consider to be one of your standout
an adolescent, I was not very inventive in this respect.
It was only when I left home and went out into the world
that I really started getting into trouble.
What are your upcoming projects/works in progress?
together a fifth book of poems. Adding new material to
my web site, www.jaredcarter.com.
Care to conclude with a sweeping philosophical statement?
may not be directly from Gurdjieff, but at least it comes
from P. L. Travers. She said it in an interview in Parabola
many years ago, and I have always remembered it: “The
way is not difficult. Only cease to cherish opinion.”
ShatterColors Standard Interview -- Author Version
2006 by Robert Scott Leyse
© 2006 by Jared