A Conversation With ‘Best Debut Short Stories 2021’ Author Stanley Patrick Stocker
“Good things happen when you keep at it.”
Kestrel Middle House Review
The death of the narrator’s daughter is central to the story, and yet we are given very little information about her death and the circumstances surrounding it. Was this always how the story was constructed? How did you decide what to reveal and what to withhold?
Where did you find the idea for this story?
Oh that would make an interesting short storyMoby Dick
How long did it take you to write this story?
During the time that the narrator and his wife were struggling to conceive, we learn that the narrator compiled a list of songs, poems, and films that made him feel better. What is it about art that comforts the narrator during this time, and in what way has it been a balm for you?
How has the Robert J. Dau Prize affected you?
What are you working on now?
What’s the best or worst writing advice you’ve ever received and why?
Finally, where do you discover new writing?
More by this author
“Maybe being in a disorganized, overstimulated state of mind helped me evoke the anxiety of being on the internet while undergoing a process of ruthless self-evaluation.”
“Speculative fiction at its best is outlandish at first glance, but ends up feeling immediate. That challenge is often what gets me writing—I want to take an absurd premise and see how deep it can go.”
“Like any career, task, or pursuit, writing is laborious. You have to show up to work every day. Often you have a bad or uninspiring day at work and that’s fine because you get to work again tomorrow.”