Interview with Morgen Knight

This is one of an ongoing series of interviews with contributors to The 3288 Review.

Morgen Knight is an award-winning horror/thriller writer whose short stories have appeared in numerous publications. She is a mother of two, lover of the macabre, and enjoys vampire hunting. You can find her in Kansas City writing short stories and her novels. Her short story “Lessons of My Brother” appeared in our inaugural issue. You can read more of her work at her website (morgenknight.wordpress.com) or on Facebook.

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3288 Review: How did you get your start writing? Was there a particular event or moment which inspired you?

Morgen Knight: Since childhood I’ve always been reserved and demure—Holding a lot of things in. Writing is an escape for that. It lets me live any way I want, say the things I couldn’t, and in some ways control the outcome. My whole life has had events that fuel my writing. They say “write what you know” and that’s exactly what I do; I just fictionalize it. I grew up writing my feelings instead of expressing them, and now I convey them through fiction.

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Interview with Craig Baker

This is one of an ongoing series of interviews with contributors to The 3288 Review.

In the Tucson, Arizona desert there is a man with dirt in between his toes. He is rarely clean shaven, prefers a backpack to a briefcase, and laughs in the face of danger, so long as it’s at a safe distance, of course. That man is Craig S. Baker; professional freelance writer, editor, and journalist. His first fiction publication, “Wanderlust”, appeared in our inaugural issue. More at www.craigsbaker.com.

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3288 Review: How and when did you get started writing? Was there a moment when you said Yes. This is what I want to do, or was it more of a realization over a period of time?

Craig Baker: I won a Thanksgiving poetry contest in the second grade, of which I can only recall the last two lines: “Crunch, crunch, munch, munch / Mmm mmmm, good.” I don’t remember writing it or writing anything before that, but I remember that I won a very dorky poster of a bear with a slogan hinging on a barely-clever academic slant, which I was simultaneously very proud of and terribly embarrassed by—it was either that or a poster that said “Silence is Golden” with a big pair of red lips in the center. I chose the bear. So, as far as I know, I’ve always been writing, at least for as long as I could read, though I never thought that I could actually make a living at it until I started freelancing a couple of years ago (thanks are due here to my wonderful, beautiful wife, Ashley, for the constant support and encouragement—couldn’t have done any of it without her). I got my B.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona because it’s the only thing I really enjoyed studying and, thankfully, my parents were wrong because, as it turns out, some people do get paid to write stuff—they just don’t get paid very much. Ha! Still, these last two years of under-earning have taught me that poor and happy is much better (for me, anyway) than wealthy and miserable so, in short, I’m glad I elected not to go to law school, after all.

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Interview with Dawn Schout

This is one of an ongoing series of interviews with contributors to The 3288 Review.

Dawn Schout’s debut poetry book, Wanderlust, was published in January 2015 by WordTech Editions. More than 70 of her poems have been published in national and international journals. She is the winner of two poetry contests as well as the Academy of American PoetsFree Verse Photo Project and is a Best of the Net nominee. She has a B.A. in creative writing and lives in west Michigan. Two of her poems were published in our inaugural issue in August 2015.

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3288 Review: How did you get started writing poetry? Was there an initial inspiration. or did it grow out of other writing?

Dawn Schout: I wrote poetry occasionally as a child and would write rhyming poems along with short stories and enter them in the open class children’s division at the county fair. I wanted to be an author at a young age, and for many years I considered myself a short story writer (I wrote a lot of short stories while growing up) rather than a poet and aspired to be a novelist. In high school, I took a creative writing class and wrote some poems for that class, and I took poetry and fiction classes in college for my creative writing degree. After college I had my first serious relationship, and when that relationship ended I started writing a lot of poetry on a much more frequent basis. It was very therapeutic for me. Now I rarely write stories, and have more than a thousand poems I’ve penned—many dealing with broken relationships.

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Interview with Robert Knox

This is one of an ongoing series of interviews with contributors to The 3288 Review.

Robert Knox is a husband, father, a correspondent for the Boston Globe, a staff writer for the online journal Verse-Virtual, and a blogger on gardening, nature and other subjects. His short stories, poems and creative nonfiction have appeared in numerous literary publications. He was named a Finalist in the Massachusetts Artist Grant Program for a story about his father (“Lost”). His story “Marriage” placed in a fiction competition held by Words With Jam and was published recently in the anthology An Earthless Melting Pot. Another story has been accepted for publication in the upcoming issue of The Tishman Review. Several excerpts from Suosso’s Lane, his recently-published novel about the Sacco-Vanzetti case, have been published in journals. A collection of his poems (Gardeners Do It With Their Hands Dirty) is scheduled for publication in 2016 by Coda Crab Books. His short story “Commitment” was published in our first issue in August 2015.

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3288 Review: When and where did you first start writing? Can you point to a single moment or event which started you down this path?

Robert Knox: Probably the near the end of my first marriage, many years ago. I was young, she was younger, we didn’t know who we were yet. I needed an outlet for well-bottled feelings (sounds like an old vintage). Youthful, painful, feelings of both betrayal and self-reproach. An early course in disillusionment. The need to express those kind of feelings, the deepest, most private sort – they don’t have to be painful, but in my case they were – in some sort of artistic way, to express yourself in some work – I think that’s fairly universal. I began writing poetry then, or writing some words with the self-conscious intention to write something meaningful. Something that I would be willing (at some point or another) to show other people. I wrote poetry for years, published some; then when life happened – happily, for me – I switched mainly to prose. I’ve gone back to poetry recently, taking as my subject my efforts to plant a new perennials garden; a kind of metaphysics of nature, or man-and-nature poetry. Now I’m publishing poems again. But in between I wrote a lot prose both on the job, because I was working for newspapers, and off. I’m writing more fiction now than ever.

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Interview with Sommer Schafer

This is one of an ongoing series of interviews with contributors to The 3288 Review.

Sommer Schafer received her MFA from San Francisco State University in 2013. Her fiction is currently available or forthcoming in Brewed Awakenings II, Glimmer Train, Santa Monica Review, China Grove, Room, A Bad Penny Review, Barge Journal, Eleven Eleven, kill author, and Fiction 365. She lives with her husband and two children in San Rafael, California, and is a member of the online writing collective The Fiction Forge. Her story “A Final Affair” was published in Issue 1.1. Visit her online at http://sommerschafer.com.

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3288 Review: How did you get started writing? Was there a recognizable inspiring moment or event which started you down this path?

Sommer Schafer: I credit the beginning of my love of writing with two things: my parents’ love of books, and receiving my first journal for my 9th birthday.

The first, because my parents were constantly reading to us; even, I suspect, before we could sit unassisted or lift our heads. Some of my earliest, happiest memories are of plopping down of the ground with a good book or two in hand, and getting lost. What a profound gift my parents bestowed upon us when they gave us the gift of imagination! They also seemed to always love telling a good story. Not necessarily a rip-roarer or something with a beginning, middle or end. They were vignettes about odd family relatives or meandering stories of memories of their youth. My dad’s tended to be funny; often philosophical and honest. My mom tended more toward the dramatic and incredible: that pond on our walk was the magical pond of the moon fairies; when the owls came out at night they hooted magical spells to the bats. We didn’t have a lot of fancy stuff growing up, but I always had available shelves and shelves of books (most of them used), and plenty of conversation. Even before I could string complex clauses together, I was curiously pulling out those tomes by John Irving and Leon Uris; feeling their beautiful dusty weight against my palms and fingertips.

The second, because I really started writing regularly when I got a journal, and I fell in love. Countless journals later, I’m still going strong. Keeping a journal allowed me to “voice” my observations; to work through my own thoughts and confusions; to express, in as much detail as I wanted, my awe of life. From then on out, writing became a way of life, as integral as breathing. It became the one place where I could think and exist uncensored. My greatest wish today, even beyond wanting to be published and read, is that I never lose that unabashed love of the written word, of, as Virginia Woolf wrote, life itself.   Continue reading →