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Q and A

Nov 07, 2007; Wag Asks:

Hello Stacey! Long time! How are you? How is the book doing (and by "the book" I mean your book "Twin Study" not the book as a storytelling medium).

Stacey answers:

Hello Wag. I am fine, thank you, and thank you for your kind interest in my book. Although I have no sales information for Twin Study, I think I can safely assume that very, very few copies of it have been sold. I would guess less than a thousand. This is because everything is horrible and corrupt and sucks, including me but also the book industry and chain book stores. I'm so depressed about it that I don't quite have it in me to launch into a rant. But I am thinking of switching careers, although my back-up plan (real-estate broker) is probably a worse idea than author, and I'm saving my back-up back-up plan (heroin addict) for the appearance of the four horsemen of the apocalypse. Though I thought I saw two of them in Scottsdale yesterday, if the horses are allowed to be miniature horses.

Nov 01, 2007; Mage Asks:

What are your thoughts on philosophers?

Stacey answers:

I like philosophers. I'm glad that there are people who think about thought, as this seems like a worthy thing to think about. I, personally, do not always find philosophy to be good reading, although I love Plato and find some of Nietzsche quite snappy. But I also have a firm, heartfelt belief that prose should be clear and reading should be a pleasure, and I've noticed that a lot of modern philosophy is sludgy. There's no subject, whether it's philosophy or lit crit or whatever, that's so complicated it has to be explained in a convoluted language of its own invention. Whenever I read that kind of philosophy, I get angry and throw the book across the room.

Oct 30, 2007; crazy Asks:

Why did I decide to go to journalism school?

Stacey answers:

How about: to change the world, to make a buck, to meet David Bowie, and because you're crazy, Crazy.

Oct 29, 2007; lady fantastique Asks:

I read your short story in 'The Worst Years Of Your Life' and I was wondering if you really did have a scar from your left temple to your lip?

Stacey answers:

No. I made it up.

Oct 26, 2007; I Love Lucy Asks:

If we continue to draw from the well of inspiration, will we deplete imagination's aquifer? Is there an alternative energy source? Can I offset my anger with some sort of credit? Is my stock overvalued? How will I know when my investment in happiness has paid off? And what if the capital gains rate has gone up by then, will I be less happy?

Stacey answers:

No, you will not deplete imagination's aquifer, though you might find that you are saying the same thing over and over again in different ways. Don't be alarmed. The trick is to be crafty about it so that everyone doesn't notice.

The only alternate energy source I can think of is caffeine.

You cannot offset your anger with some sort of credit, though it's tempting to believe that revenge will do the trick. It doesn't. You're stuck with your anger until you find religion. And you might still be stuck with it then.

Yes, your stock is probably overvalued. It's been a long bull market. Sell, sell, sell.

I'm not sure how you'll know when your investment in happiness has paid off because I didn't know that happiness required an investment. Theoretically, you can be happy immediately, with no prior investment. Sometimes, Lucy, all you have to do is turn that frown upside down. Then you don't have to worry about taxes, which should only add to your happiness.

Oct 25, 2007; Wistar Asks:

I still love you, Stacey Richter. I wish we could get together sometime and vacuum each others' leg wounds. We have to get some shark bites first. Do you miss me too? I can't wait to read your story in Tin House. Am I betraying the literary establishment if I don't actually buy the issue, but just read it in the book store while drinking a free cup of water? I know I'll feel guilty afterward, but you don't get a royalty from each lit journal sold, do you?

Stacey answers:

No, I don't get a royalty from each lit journal sold but it's a special issue of Tin House and it should be really, really good. I say "should be" because I haven't read it yet, but it sounds great: all women writers, all non-realismists. Hmm, I'm not satisfied with that word. How about: Imaginationists.

I'm intrigued to hear that there is such a thing as a wound vacuum. I've just been using the shop vac myself. I don't miss you!

Oct 24, 2007; Bartleby Asks:

I would prefer not to.

Stacey answers:

I second that.

Oct 23, 2007; Desperately Seeking Susan Asks:

Who is the Mr. Wonderful below? But that's not my real question. My real question is: do you sleep with married men?

Stacey answers:

I don't know who Mr. Wonderful is. There's an invisible email address option on these questions and Mr. Wonderful opted out. I could guess. But it's not me!

I don't sleep with married men. I'm way too insecure to sleep with someone who has another woman in his life. I can hardly sleep with men who have ex-girlfriends. Besides, I've had the same boyfriend for 8 years and I just sleep with him now. I suppose that if we got married and I slept with him, then I would be sleeping with a married man. But I don't think that's what you mean. You mean fornicating, right?

Oct 23, 2007; Mr. Wonderful Asks:

Don't you want to let everyone know you have a new story in the latest issue of Tin House?

Stacey answers:

Yes. I kind of forgot though because I haven't received my own copy yet. Everyday I check the mail forlornly. It's a story about a killer doll.

Oct 18, 2007; Tom Asks:

I've almost finished Twin Study. I uttered, "holy shit," after the last paragraph in the Long Hall. I thought about the mind set and beginnings of strippers for a long time after that for some reason. At least ten minutes. Do you start out with a theme in mind, or does it come to you after you start writing? I threw that in, so it goes with the QnA. I always try to follow the rules, but I really just wanted to say what a great set of short stories.

Stacey answers:

Thanks. I don't have a theme in mind when I write. I have my hands full just focusing on what happens and in what order. Sometimes I don't really even register the themes until I'm done. I actually think our brains makes connections and create meaning whether we're trying to or not. Sometimes it works better not to try too hard to make themes cohere. An analogy to this process would be dreaming.

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