The Masters Review Interview Series
As part of our platform, The Masters Review strives to provide informative and inspiring online content for emerging writers. One of our favorite ways to do this is through interviews with authors, editors, and agents. We’ve had the chance to talk to many amazing thinkers, but here are a few selections from our interviews archive.
We talked to Volume IV judge Kevin Brockmeier about his first memoir, the art of the sentence, some of the different shapes novels can take, and genre and literary overlaps:
“I would love to see a future in which the distinction between literary and science fiction, mainstream novels and graphic novels, realism, surrealism, and magical realism, has become much more permeable, and books are measured by their vitality, their degree of accomplishment, and the fidelity they pay to their own obsessions rather than by the happenstances of genre.”
Veteran editor Ellen Datlow has been working with science fiction, fantasy, and horror short fiction for over thirty years, during which she has edited over sixty anthologies and racked up a number of accolades. We were honored to talk to her about horror as part of our Scary Story Showcase last October:
“Effective horror explores the truths that humans are loathe to face: death most prominently—the fact that we’re all going to die. The loss of loved ones, losing one’s control, fear of the unknown, pain. These things scare us whether couched in the supernatural or psychological.”
We were thrilled to talk to Benjamin Percy about his recent post-apocalyptic novel The Dead Lands, which reimagines the Lewis and Clark expedition in a world full of water scarcities and mutant animals.
“ . . . suffice it to say that we’re all nearing a state of apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fatigue. Everyone is overly familiar with the way the world ends. The Dead Lands takes advantage of this. There is a super flu, of course, and there is a nuclear apocalypse, of course. This is merely my key in the door, the gateway into my story. The way the world ends is mostly irrelevant. I’m concerned with the way the world is reborn.”
Laura van den Berg
The wonderful Laura van den Berg chatted with us about the short story form vs. the novel, the role of research in the writing process, her ever-shifting writing space, and her path to success.
“So I think that’s the thing about publishing: it’s a very rare situation where the views are going to be completely uniform. You know, you don’t need everyone to say yes, and you don’t need everyone to think that the path you’ve chosen is the right path. You just need that one person who sees things in a way that you do and I was lucky enough to find that.”
Aimee Bender’s magical realist stories have earned her a loyal following—and with good reason. Here, we talk to the acclaimed writer about women in magical realism, her use of this construction, and the power of magic in stories.
“I think the emotional life is the core and seed of the story—that’s where the story lives and breathes. So the magic is a way to access that, and I will happily use whatever way I can to get to the emotional stuff. For me, for whatever reason, I like to go to it indirectly, and via metaphor, but hopefully not metaphor that’s too easily unpacked.”
by Sadye Teiser