Sunday, January 29, 2012

Author Insides - Jonathan Slusher

Jonathan Slusher is a native of the Garden State, now living in the San Francisco Bay area. He has a MS in Environmental Science and has spent the past six years — two of those abroad in France — as a stay at home father. You can find recent work by Jonathan in Paper Darts Magazine, Toasted Cheese Literary Journal, and on his webpage at www.waterlanding.net.

Jonathan's short story "That Far to Deep River" appeared in the Autumn 2011 issue of The Battered Suitcase.


When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? 

I realized that I wanted to be a writer gradually alongside with my reluctant acceptance of being a failure as a conversationalist.

Why do you write?

I’m not a quick thinker. Writing gives me a second chance to come up with all of the things that I wish I’d said in person. Also, whether writing them down or just imagining, creating stories is a great way to get someplace else, straightaway.

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

I am still only in the beginning stages of taking myself seriously as a writer. I want to continue to write purely for pleasure, but I do shamefully admit indulging in the occasional delusion of grandeur.

What do you think makes a good story?

This is hard to say, but I prefer good story telling that is enhanced, not overly enriched with straightforward, meaningful prose.

What's your favorite genre to read?

Literary fiction is my favorite genre, but I am also not ashamed to admit being a huge fan of Robert Parker, J.K. Rowling, and Carlos Ruiz Zafón.

Who is your favorite author or poet? 

If I have to choose one favorite author I’ll go with Paul Auster. He’s so bold. Not every book is one my favorites, but each is almost always a new invention in itself. I read The Book of Illusions years ago and it is still very fresh in my mind.
 
What books or stories have most influenced you the most as a writer?

The short stories of T.C. Boyle make me want to search harder for my own secret formula.

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

Even during the times when everything I owned fit neatly into a few plastic clothing baskets I’ve always kept a perfectly worn out, hardcover copy of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. It isn’t even one of my all time favorites, but it was the book that made me crave stories with a purpose.

Where/how do you find the most inspiration?

I have a lot of story ideas that I’d like to get out, but don’t always know how. Attempting to find the right words to bring these ideas to life can be inspiring, sometimes it can be frustrating, and the challenge can be good or bad depending on my state of mind.

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

Although it would probably be a good idea I don’t have much of a schedule. I do, however seem to make far better use of my free time when I don’t have very much of it.

Do you have any writing quirks or rituals? 

Early morning at the kitchen table when everything is still and I have a strong cup of coffee within arm’s reach: that’s the most fruitful setup there is.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Editing is hard for me. The waiting aspect of publishing is extremely tough. I also still regret self publishing my first novel.

What are your current projects?

I’m just finishing The Room Above the Garage, which is a short story about a jealous husband –who is supposed to be out of town--lying in wait in the room above the garage to find out if his wife is cheating on him. He’s worried about getting caught and he can’t decide how many evenings will be enough to ease his suspicion. As usual, I have no idea if it will be worthy of publishing or doomed to join the collection of other duds lurking throughout the unorganized files on my hard drive.

What are you planning for future projects?

I’d like start working on a second novel. The first one took me almost two years and I gained fifteen extra pounds. I’m just now finally getting back in shape.

Do you have any advice for other writers? 

Try your best to write for your own enjoyment and avoid getting bogged down with worrying about how your writing will be received by others.

Where can we find your work? 

You can find my work in Paper Darts Magazine and Toasted Cheese Literary Journal. I also have a personal website at waterlanding.net