What’s the first thing you wrote that you can remember?
When I was in first grade, my teacher called my parents because a poem I wrote contained “disturbing imagery.” Here is the poem in its entirety, for the edification of future generations of troublemakers:
I lie in my grave and pretend to be dead
I want to be buried on my head
And while I’m there I sit and think
About what I did to the kitchen sink.
Clearly I was a troubled youth.
How early did you begin writing?
I recently discovered through past-life regression that I was an Irish poet named Cody O’Sullivan in the late 17th century, so I probably started writing around 1867. I didn’t have much time for writing for quite a while after my death in 1872.
Where did you find your subjects?
In my head, mostly. It gets lonely in here without anyone around. There’s so much empty space.
What writers have influenced you?
Terry Pratchett, George R. R. Martin, Martin Millar, Neil Gaiman, Neil Stevenson, Douglas Adams, J. K. Rowling, Laurell K. Hamilton, Steven Erikson, Dan Savage and Phillip K. Dick. I guess this list is a who’s-who of authors not to mention to your professors if you ever want to be taken seriously.
How do you know when you’ve reached the end of a piece?
When the words stop.
Is there a particular person who you share your early drafts with?
Lauren Kuhlik. You should interview her, she’s much smarter than me.
What has your favorite writing class at Wes been?
Paula Sharp taught my favorite writing classes. I’ve taken four with her now.
Are you writing a thesis? What is it about?
I wrote a senior essay. It’s about fart jokes. I’m not kidding.
Demetria Spinrad is a senior Medieval Studies major also pursuing the Writing Certificate. A Writer’s Habits is a series of interviews with student writers on campus.