Sunday, November 13, 2011

Author Insides - April Sopkin


April Sopkin lives in New York, but not for much longer. Her fiction has also appeared in issue #4 of Makeout Creek. Her short story, "James Goes Out" appeared in the Autumn 2011 The Battered Suitcase

April, when did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? 


Not entirely sure. As a little kid, I sat at the dining room table with a notebook for hours. I was too young for self-awareness. I was just doing it.  

Why do you write? 

Again, not entirely sure. As I get older and write more and finish more pieces, I discover more about the process and have a certain faith in it. I’d say that keeps me going.

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


Of course not.

What do you think makes a good story? 

Voice.

What's your favorite genre to read? 

Right now, short stories in the speculative vein.

Who is your favorite author or poet?

I’m sure I’ll regret saying this, but I don’t have a favorite. I’ve never read one particular writer exclusively for any period of time.

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

Geek Love by Katherine Dunn. White Teeth by Zadie Smith.

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

Stop-Time by Frank Conroy. Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg.

Where/how do you find the most inspiration?

Reading a lot and in a wide variety. Watching and listening to others, asking questions of their behavior. Hindsight.

What does your family think of your writing? 

Proud and easily excitable. But they probably wonder where it’s all leading and when it’ll finally get there.

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

It varies every couple months. Any routine held too long will eventually lead to some boredom and eventual procrastination. Sometimes I’m at the desk at 6am. Sometimes I’m in a coffee shop phase.

Do you have any writing quirks or rituals? 

If I’m struggling with a story, I’ll switch to longhand for a while. And I wear headphones but don’t listen to music.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

The first sentence. And deciding between first and third when I have a preconceived idea for a story.

What are your current projects?

Short stories.

What are you planning for future projects?


I set aside this year to specifically work on building an inventory of short stories – finishing them and submitting them. To help me do this, I applied to eight artist residencies and was accepted into four. My last one will be a month spent at the Jentel cattle ranch this winter. That’s as far into the future as I have planned.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

If you ride public transportation every day, write during your commute. Or write on your lunch break. Or get up an hour earlier and write then. Find the time that already exists in your life and start from there.

Where can we find your work? 

I have a short piece published in issue #4 of Makeout Creek, which can be purchased at www.makeoutcreek.com.