*The publisher was kind enough to off a $25 Amazon Gift Card to go along with J.S.’s blog tour! The link and details for the giveaway are located at the bottom of the post, following the interview 🙂
Today I am interviewing J.S. Breukelaar, author of the new short-fiction collection, Collision.
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DJ: Hi J.S. Breukelaar! Thanks for stopping by to do this interview!
For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?
J.S. Breukelaar: I am the author of the novels American Monster, a Wonderland Award Finalist, and the Aurealis Award nominated Aletheia, as well as the forthcoming collection of short stories, Collision, from Meerkat Press. You can also find my work in magazines such as Lightspeed, Gamut, Black Static, Unnerving and anthologized in Welcome to Dystopia, Women Writing the Weird among others. I have a PhD in creative writing and teach at the University of Western Sydney, and am a columnist and instructor at LitReactor.com. You can also find me at www.thelivingsuitcase and twitter.com/jsbreukelaar.
DJ: What is Collision about?
J.S. Breukelaar: This is a collection of twelve stories including the title story, “Collision,” and a new novella called “Like Ripples on a Blank Shore.”
DJ: What were some of the inspirations behind Collision?
J.S. Breukelaar: Although I’ve written other stories and novels, these are inspired by a collision of worlds, characters and genres. This is partly because of the political and technological landscape, but also the natural world of climate change, and the literary space I inhabit which is where the river of gender meets the sea of possibility. I love horror and science fiction and Gothic and weird and poetry and these all feed into my work. I’m inspired by animals and non-human beings. But also film and bad TV and music. Readers can find my playlist for the book at www.largehearted.boy.com.
DJ: What kinds of stories can readers expect in the anthology?
J.S. Breukelaar: All of the above. Horror, science fiction, weird, and sometimes literary, and often a mix of two or more of these in the one story.
DJ: Being an author, what do you believe makes a good short-story? How does it differ from writing novel-length stories?
J.S. Breukelaar: Short stories need a killer ending—I mean a tight overall structure escalling clearly toward some kind of “answer” to the story question, even if that answer is ambiguous, by which I don’t mean vague. And an unforgettable character with a clear emotional arc. But that’s just me. For other writers it’s the world that matters, a setting so immersive that the reader doesn’t want to leave. I try and do that in my novels, but in my stories, it’s a character that I utterly believe in rushing headlong toward something both surprising and inevitable, because that’s who they are.
DJ: This may… this will be a difficult question to answer, but what are some of your favorite stories in Collision? I don’t mean what you believe is the best, but perhaps some stories has a particular setting, theme, message, or character that you stood out to you?
J.S. Breukelaar: That is a difficult question, so I’ll go with “Union Falls,” because it was my break-out story and paved the way for everything else that followed. Writing it was a heavy trip back to my hometown, to what it was like growing up there—the lake, the bar above the gas station, the music. The ending wrote itself when I finally worked out how to hand the reins over to the characters.
DJ: What was your favorite part about writing Collision?
J.S. Breukelaar: I had eight stories that had been published elsewhere but I also had some new material, so finishing these, especially the novella, and editing it was fun, if incredibly frustrating for my editor. If I was a actor, I’d be a one-more-take kind, and that takes a lot of patience and faith on the part of those working with you. I’m lucky to have that with the folks at Meerkat.
DJ: What do you think readers will be talking about most once they finish it this one?
J.S. Breukelaar: That’s hard to say. Readers are a wiley bunch, which is why I love them. I guess there could be comments on the uncategorizable nature of the collection, the combining of genres within single stories, how some are more or less literary, while some are pure pulp—hopefully there is something for everyone. I hope they will be talking about how the stories connected with them emotionally, or viscerally. How they scared them, or broke their hearts or made them laugh.
DJ: Now that Collision is released, what is next for you?
J.S. Breukelaar: I am working on a new novel, The Bridge, about a about a pair of twins spiritually conjoined to a mysterious old woman with one eye. And I have some commissioned stories I need to finish.
DJ: Where can readers find out more about you?
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/J.-S.-Breukelaar/e/B00IJKIVT0/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0
DJ: Before we go, what is that one thing you’d like readers to know about Collision that we haven’t talked about yet?
J.S. Breukelaar: I feel very fortunate to have had the author and graphic artist, Keith Rosson provide the illustrations to some of the stories—not only are they gorgeous in their own right, but they totally nail the colliding aesthetic of my work.
DJ: Is there anything else you would like add?
J.S. Breukelaar: In the back of the book are notes that I wrote to each of the stories—process, trivia, influences, true confessions of a writer on the edge. I hope that readers get as much out of reading as I did out of writing them.
DJ: Thank you so much for taking time out of your day to answer my questions!
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*** Collision is published by and Meerkat Press is available TODAY!!! ***
Buy the Book:
Amazon | B&N | Book Depositry | Goodreads
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Please click on the Rafflecopter link below to enter to win $25 Amazon Gift Card! Good luck!
*** RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY!!! ***
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About the Book:
A collection of twelve of J.S. Breukelaar’s darkest, finest stories with four new works, including the uncanny new novella “Ripples on a Blank Shore.” Introduction by award-winning author, Angela Slatter. Relish the gothic strangeness of “Union Falls,” the alien horror of “Rogues Bay 3013,” the heartbreaking dystopia of “Glow,” the weird mythos of “Ava Rune,” and others. This collection from the author of American Monster and the internationally acclaimed and Aurealis Award finalist, Aletheia, announces a new and powerful voice in fantastical fiction.
About the Author:
J.S. Breukelaar is the author of the Aurealis-nominated novel Aletheia, and American Monster, a Wonderland Award finalist. She has published stories, poems and essays in publications such as Gamut, Black Static, Unnerving, Lightspeed, Lamplight and elsewhere. She is a columnist and regular instructor at LitReactor.com. California-born and New York raised, she currently lives in Sydney, Australia with her family. You can find her at http://www.thelivingsuitcase.com.