When I write fiction, I am reminded that anything is possible—if not in this moment, then another. I write so I can explore different worlds, break down the boundaries between them, and blur the lines of what is with what could be. I write about environmental and feminist issues because without the Earth we cannot live, and without equality for all people we cannot live well.
The use of luminous and revealing details gives the reader a glimpse into the hearts of my characters and places in a single sentence or phrase. Fantastic elements—ghosts, clairvoyance, people living on Mars—are meant to reveal layers of reality and experience to help the reader work through her feelings on things like death, violence, and religion. In some stories I stretch reality with vivid, eerie prose to throw particular aspects of a character’s life into sharp relief. In others I blatantly disregard reality to get at a deeper emotional truth. With each method I hope to kick the reader into a state of mind that is open to any possibility.
My current works-in-progress include Miss Gun to a Knife Fight, a short story collection composed of feminist retellings of Warren Zevon songs, and Let the Dead Speak for Themselves, a novel about a mortician who can talk to her deceased clients. In Miss Gun to a Knife Fight, I aim to reframe the conversation away from the men in the songs and focus on the women. I do this with tone, voice, and odd narrative structures like blog entries and lists that more accurately reflect these women’s experiences than a linear form would. In Let the Dead Speak for Themselves, I embed the stories of the dead within the stories of the living characters. Supported by its form, the novel explores the way our deceased loved ones remain with us. In both instances I work to challenge typical linear story structures and content by cracking open perspectives, emotions, and ideas that might otherwise be lost in a traditional narrative that focuses primarily on white men.
Above all, I strive to open doors and knock down barriers, to help people make new connections, to explore truth and its shades and shadows, and to write a damn good story capable of enacting change in the world.