Today’s interview is with the winner of Bop Dead City’s Issue 6 Contest Winner for fiction, M. Robert Fisher. I forgot to ask him what he thought about winning the contest, so let’s assume it was the greatest moment of his life or at least top three. Handsome devil, too.
Describe your work in 25 words or less.
Gritty to light literary fiction with humor and heart, grounded in realism.
Tell me about your story “Small Town Girl.”
“Small Town Girl” is a story that follows Ray Beaudry, a hard drinking, sardonic writer with a firm, potentially twisted world perspective that tends to get him in more trouble than anything else. This follows him on an almost petulantly inspired road trip out of the city after feeling placated and unappreciated for his literary mastery. In most of my “Ray stories” he gets drunk and does something stupid or reckless but usually with good intentions; in this story I wanted to feed the romantic in me. I’ve often described this story as my version of a Gothic romantic comedy, a fractured fairy tale so to speak. It was an opportunity to show Ray’s softer side, which I don’t often give in to. And what’s more romantic than going on an adventure and meeting a beautiful stranger in a strange new place?
What or who inspires you to write?
Words. Sounds basic or simplistic but I can be inspired be a single phrase, even a word. This story was inspired by a conversation I had with an editor I was working with at the time and she simply said “you’re growing.”. I once wrote a 4,000 word short story completely inspired by the word “unfurnished” which I’d come upon while reading a Henry Miller novel. If I am reading, chances are I am writing.
What authors have influenced you as a writer?
Because I started out in screenwriting a lot of my influences came from film and television. I would say my greatest literary influences have been Charles Bukowski and Nick Hornby, who couldn’t be more different but speak to me in ways other authors like Vonnegut and Henry Miller failed. Reading fiction to me is such a deeply personal thing that I am inspired by people who I feel bled on the page, whether it is light or stark in tone.
Do you have a blog/website?
Where can we read you next?
Other than Bop Dead City? I have a short stories published in “Bleeding Heart Cadaver” and “Notes Magazine” which are both available on Amazon. A lot of my previously published fiction was published on now defunct web magazines. I am in the process of resubmitting a lot of that work as well as placing some older stories I’ve been polishing up.
What are you working on right now?
My novel. The novel that is killing me. It’s a dual narrative about a 20-something drug addicted poet and a woman estranged from her children that form a suicide pact after meeting on craigslist.
Any advice for other writers?
Find your voice and don’t let anyone try to dissuade you from being who you are. And keep writing, no matter how rough the criticism can get.
Anything else you’d like to say?
Keep reading! Anything, I don’t care. Just read!