Thursday, July 7, 2011

Author Insides - GK Wuori

G. K. Wuori, a Pushcart Prize winner and Illinois Arts Council Fellow, has published more than a hundred stories in such journals as The Gettysburg Review, Prairie Schooner, The Missouri Review, The Kenyon Review, and Shenandoah. His novel, An American Outrage, was a Foreword Magazine Book of the Year, and his story collection, Nude In Tub, a Quality Paperback Book Club New Voices Award Nominee, continues to grow its cult-classic following. He is associate editor of the literary journal Kippis, and currently lives in Sycamore, Illinois, where he writes a monthly column called Cold Iron at GKWuori.com.


Jerry - when did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?


It probably happened in college after I placed a few pieces in the literary magazine. Not only did writing seem like a cool thing to do, but it seemed like I was able to do it really, really well. Plus, I didn’t have the faintest idea of what I wanted to do with my life.

Why do you write?

I write because I think someone has to be an official, recording witness to the wild and phantasmagorical array of convoluted, contradictory, interesting, and amusing stuff that is life as we know it in our time. Fortunately, I’m not the only one because that’s an awful lot to write about.

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

I’ve never been terribly sure of what life itself is supposed to be like, although I revel in its surprises and occasionally despair over its insanities. I could probably say pretty much the same thing about being a writer.

What do you think makes a good story?

Interesting people doing interesting things – usually by getting themselves into trouble and then getting out of it.

What's your favorite genre to read?

Newspapers.

Who is your favorite author or poet?

Kurt Vonnegut (fiction) and Charles Bukowski (poet)

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

I think Plato’s Republic and Aristotle’s Nichomachean Ethics are among the greatest influences in my writing and my life. They’re like two pillars holding me in place as my characters struggle to find an ideal world in which to live and to answer the basic question of what it means to be a decent human being.

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

I read Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 once a year. It nourishes me and tells me a) that what I’m doing is worthwhile and b) that there are bastards out there who would really like that I not do it.

Where/how do you find the most inspiration?

By planting myself at my keyboard every day and hoping that something pops into my head. It usually does.

What does your family think of your writing?

Since I’ve published a couple of books and over a hundred stories and they still include me in family/holiday gatherings I like to assume they approve. I also think it’s unfair ever to put any family member on the spot by asking what they think of your work.

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

There’s not really any “when” to it. I simply write every day, sometimes for just a few hours, sometimes all day. Depends on the work at hand.

Do you have any writing quirks or rituals?

I have a nice window near my writing table. I stare a lot.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Poetry. I love writing poems. I’ve written probably sixty-four zillion of them and published about a dozen. So I’ve concluded I’m not really much of a poet but I keep trying.

What are your current projects?

I’m writing plays.

What are you planning for future projects?

More plays.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Just read and stay away from writing programs.

Where can we find your work?

The best place would be to start at my website, http://www.gkwuori.com/.

GK's novella, Now That I'm Ready To Tell You Everything is now available from Vagabondage Press.

It can be purchased at Amazon.com for Kindle, in Print and at B&N for Nook