Seattle writer/poet Lois Taylor has published widely in such literary magazines as The Kenyon Review, Del Sol Review, American Short Fiction and Glimmer Train. Disclosure, she’s also a great friend.
Lois, your short stories are like diamonds. If there’s a flaw there, ain’t nobody gonna find it.
My writing has changed since having a writing group. Because the group has been meeting for a while, we are all pretty tuned to each other’s weaknesses and strengths. For instance: I’m prone to cut and sometimes cut so much that the sense of the story is gone. I really don’t notice this at the time of rewrite, or even several rewrites. Having those other eyes and voices has really helped. Also, I get new ideas from the various stories the group is bringing.
You are crazy prolific.
People with full time jobs and families – which is mostly everybody – simply don’t have the time that I do. I haven’t worked full time in a decade now, and that’s what a decade worth of writing will produce.
You write great kids.
Thank you for that, because I fear they can be a little sitcom-y. Nothing worse than a smarty pants kid. I had a colorful, event-filled childhood and something got stuck there for me. I can’t not see the world from the viewpoint of a terrified but fascinated eight-year-old.
You’ve had a long track record of publishing success. How have short stories evolved in recent years?
I think the new voices are fearless. They seem very science-inflected to me, or maybe science fiction. It’s as if younger writers are running away from reality, screaming. I also see a lot of memoir-style writing, which is possibly a fad of the time, but also fascinating to me.
Whose writing inspires you?
Sharon Olds writes fearless personal poems. Ditto Marie Howe. The poem to her brother who died of AIDS breaks my heart every time. I love Marisa Silver’s short stories. Elizabeth Tallent’s stories are so complex and smart. I tend to like female short story writers more. Sexist, I guess, but it is the truth.
Check out Lois’ writing online: