Friday, November 12, 2010

Author Insides - Interview with Julie Riso

Writer JD Riso's non-fiction piece "Empty Spaces" appears in the current issue of The Battered Suitcase.

Her short fiction and travel writing have appeared in many exotic locations, including Slush Pile, Avatar Review, and Superstition Review. Her novel, Blue (Murphy's Law Press), was published in 2006. She leads a nomadic life and currently resides in Budapest, Hungary with a Frenchman and a big brown rabbit. You can find her online at

So Julie, When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

In high school, when my English comp teacher gave me a “D” because, in his own words, “Even though your work is technically correct, I don't like your style.” It was interesting that something I wrote upset an adult that much.

Why do you write?

Because I've got some stories to tell. I'm trying to I finish them so I can stop writing.

Is being a writer/poet anything like you imagined it would be?

Given my rather unconventional start as a writer (see first question), it's exactly like I thought it would be.

What do you think makes a good story?

Originality in both subject and style, but without being pretentious.

What books or stories have most influenced you the most as a writer?

I'll Let You Go by Bruce Wagner and Skin by Kathe Koja are two books that really inspire me. I read them both once a year.

What books or stories have most influenced you as a person?

Journey to Ixtlan by Carlos Castaneda. I don't care if he was a charlatan.

Where/how do you find the most inspiration?


What does your family think of your writing?

My mother is my biggest fan.

What is your work schedule like when you're writing?

Writing work schedule. Haha.

Do you have any writing quirks or rituals?

Does obsessively checking to see if my latest draft has saved count?

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?


What are your current projects?

I'm working on a memoir entitled Wish I Were Here, which is about growing up with a schizophrenic father and about how I've tried to run away from my depression by traveling the planet. Dromomania (travel mania) is a real affliction and not as romantic as one might think.

What are you planning for future projects?

I've also started writing a historical novel, The Divine, which is about the Countess de Castiglione.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

I don't feel qualified to give advice to other writers.

Where can we find your work?

My first novel, Blue, can be found at and through the publisher, Murphy's Law Press. An internet search will direct you to my stories and travel pieces that have been appeared in online journals over the past few years.


  1. I really love that comment about her high school teacher! In high school, I had an English teacher who repeatedly wrote on my papers, "You should pursue a career in creative writing." But I was the sort of kid that didn't do what the teacher said. If she had discouraged me, maybe I would've accepted my obsession sooner. Oh well, four years later wasn't too bad!

  2. Dayana,

    Similar situation here. But I was horribly rebellious and it took a couple of decades before I was ready to face the muse head on. :)