I get my ideas by stealing material from friends and strangers. Things I overhear or see in the street, that kind of thing. I have a hyperactive imagination, and no television. I think that’s all you need to write fiction, really.
My background: I was very nomadic until about six years ago, when I came to Boulder, Colorado for my M.A. at the University of Colorado. People here call it Chief Niwot’s curse – once you see these mountains, you’re doomed to return again and again. So I decided not to leave. Why waste time?
I got my M.A. in creative writing at the University of Colorado, studying poetry. Over the next couple of years, I wrote a lot of terrible poetry. Everyone hated it. I hated it. So I said, hey, let’s try fiction. I sent my first short story, “My Weddings,” to the ‘Atlantic Monthly’. By some miracle, they bought it out of the slush pile, and that started the chain of events that led to this book.
I spent the last ten years working idiotic, low-commitment jobs to give myself time to write. I temped a lot. Now I’m just writing, and it’s fantastic.
The stories from ‘Come Up and See Me Sometime’ were published in ‘The Atlantic Monthly, Story, Ploughshares’, and ‘Shenandoah’.
I’m working on a novel at the moment, and also writing more stories. I’m not sure which will emerge first – a novel or another collection.