Bill Trippe–Interview

Describe your creative space. Do you work at home, in public spaces, etc.?

I have a small office next to my attic. It’s a very old house and a very modest office, but I have a table to write and shelves for my books.

What kind of materials do you use? Do you write by hand or type? What is your favorite writing utensil?

I do almost everything on the computer. I maintain files of story ideas, then build from that. In writing workshops (including some I facilitate) I write in a few favorite notebooks, always in pen, as I hate the feel of pencil for some reason.

What is your routine for writing?

I work full-time, so I write in the early morning. I try to get an hour in each weekday then perhaps two hours on one of the weekend days. I have to use some of that time for submissions and correspondence, so it’s not all productive writing time.

How long have you been writing? When did you start writing?

I have been writing since college, which I started 40 years ago this month. I did a BA in English and an MA in Writing, but then raised a family. While I did quite a bit of professional writing over those years, including co-writing two technical books, I only returned to creative writing in earnest in November of 2014. I finished a novel and have written a number of short stories in that time.

Who is your intended, or ideal, audience? Who do you write for?

I imagine someone who, like me, loves short fiction especially. I read widely, but nothing is more satisfying to read than a well-crafted short story. I hope that my stories evoke that kind of response in my reader.

What inspires you to write? If you are blocked, what do you do?

I look for germs of stories all of the time, including in my reading, anecdotes I hear about, things in the news. The story here, “First Day,” was inspired in part by something that happened to a teacher I know but then I took the action of the story much further. If I am blocked, I read old newspapers and look for some interesting story or detail. The opportunities are endless.

What other things do you do besides writing? Do you dance or play golf, etc.?

I sing choral music and have begun to sing with an a capella group. It’s fun but it’s also a new intellectual challenge, honestly. It forces me to think in a way I rarely have.

What is your favorite part of the creative process?

I like thinking through the arc of the story—who the characters are and what is propelling the action of the story. When I find something that I think is real and compelling about them, I feel that I can move the story along. It’s very satisfying though sometimes it involves a lot of sitting and staring at the wall.

What is your advice to aspiring writers?

I think we all have rich experiences and ideas to tap into. When I teach writing, I encourage students to mine their experiences and to find the stories in them. As to the publishing process, prepare for things to take a long time and to get many rejections before you find places that will publish your work. If it helps to have a community of writers, seek one out. There are many venues.


Check out Bill’s work in the issue Volume 3, Issue 2 (Pushcart Nominee).




Steve Slavin

A recovering economics professor, Steve Slavin earns a living writing math and economics books. The second volume of his short stories, To the City, with Love, was recently published.

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Don Noel

Don Noel retired after four decades’ prizewinning print and broadcast journalism in Hartford CT. Noel received his MFA in Creative Writing from Fairfield University in 2013. He has since published more than two dozen short stories and non-fiction pieces, but has two novellas and a novel still looking for publishers.

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Anthony J. Mohr

Anthony J. Mohr’s work has appeared in DIAGRAM, Compose, Front Porch Journal, Hippocampus Magazine, Superstition Review, Word Riot,  ZYZZYVA, and elsewhere. His work has been nominated four times for the Pushcart Prize and received honorable mention from Sequestrum’s Editor’s Reprint Award. He is an assistant editor of Fifth Wednesday Journal. Once upon a time, he was a member of the L.A. Connection, an improv theater group.

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Paul Lamb

Paul Lamb lives near Kansas City but escapes to the Missouri Ozarks whenever he can steal the chance. His stories have appeared in Aethlon, The Nassau Review, The Little Patuxent Review, Penduline Press, Bartleby Snopes, and others. He rarely strays far from his laptop, unless he is running, which he’s been doing a lot lately.

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Brian K. Kerley

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