Thursday, 15 August 2013
James Hand - interview
James Hand interviewed by Frank Burton
James's novella, Mitosis, is available to download for free here.
What would you say is the appeal of the second person narrative?
I wanted to get inside the reader's head, like really coerce them into thinking thoughts they often push away, emotions that might frighten them, perceptions that might threaten their existing worldview/reality. I don't know how successful I was in fulfilling these intentions.
How did you decide on the title "Mitosis," and what would you say is its significance?
I wanted to highlight an awareness of mortality, and, possibly more importantly, the beauty of our temporal lives, like that we're actually fucking alive.
How would you describe your writing process?
I wrote "Mitosis" in a 24 hour period and spent more time editing and working on it. I wrote it maniacally, like I'd write 1000 words in a short period, suddenly stop then start again later. I don't think I have a concrete, repeated writing process. I usually write when I feel overwhelmed, or am "coming down."
Who are your influences?
I have a hard time thinking of influences; I mainly view them as subconscious. Authors I read before and after writing "Mitosis" include Richard Yates, Lorrie Moore, Sam Pink, Noah Cicero, Tao Lin, Brandon Scott Gorrell, Bret Easton Ellis, and others. I had a reading journal for a while but stopped. I think the one-sentence paragraph style was most influences by Noah Cicero and Sam Pink, and from when I read James Frey's books in elementary school (that seems kind of fucked)
How do you feel about non-profit publishing?
I like non-profit publishing. I don't know much about publishing, though. I think non-profit publishers like Philistine Press offer a great platform for established and emerging authors to reach an audience. I feel interested in pursuing "work" in publishing, I'd like to learn more, definitely.
Are you working on anything new at the moment?
Yeah, I'm always writing. I write mostly poetry. I put together a collection which, reading again, I feel is shit and needs lots of work. I have tons of poems I think I could possibly sift through to form a collection or chapbook or something. I just wrote a short story with a polar style to "Mitosis," and might work on more stylistically-similar stories. I don't know. I think I want a book in print eventually, that'd feel great for a while, I think.