Rae Bryant talked to us a little about her inspiration for The Indefinite State of Imaginary Morals, what she’s reading right now and her deepest secrets.
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Patasola Press: What was the catalyst for your collection, The Indefinite State of Imaginary Morals, and what choices did you make in its formatting and style?
Rae Bryant: ISIM developed organically. Most of the stories had already been published in literary journals such as BLIP Magazine, Opium Magazine, and >kill author, so the collection was simply a collection. Stories mostly in print. I have a crush on Klimt and studied various art forms, so the centerfold developed from an intellectual distraction. I would say, however, the stories generally came from an exploration into the real and surreal and how these two often come together in familiar and uncomfortable spaces. I didn’t realize how often body parts recur in the collection until after reviewers started commenting. I liked it, the body parts. Always lovely to discover something in yourself and your craft that others saw first. As far as formatting and style, it all followed the necessity of story. Always story.
Patasola Press: Tell us a little secret about The Indefinite State of Imaginary Morals.
Rae Bryant: Secrets. I am more likely to divulge secrets over a glass of wine.
Patasola Press: What three books are you loving right now, or what three authors or poets have made an impact on your own writing?
Rae Bryant: Lolita, Jesus’ Son, Veronica, The Great Gatsby… Tomorrow the list will be different. When I read Nabokov and Plath and Bradstreet, I immediately feel a need to write. It’s impossible to narrow it down to three. Constantly, I am falling in love with works and voices when the voices are truthful and familiar and cutting. I do require the cutting. I am a masochistic reader.
Patasola Press: What are you working on right now?
Rae Bryant: I am now on the third draft of my novel ms., Marrow. I sometimes giggle and cry simultaneously.
Patasola Press: Taking a cue from this interesting article, Questions That Authors Are Never Asked, I want to know: Do your characters believe in God?
Rae Bryant: My characters believe in whatever they want or need to believe. I shouldn’t speak for them. They would likely disagree with me.