Rory Say in the spotlight Lucent Dreaming interview

Rory Say in the spotlight

Tonight we put the spotlight on Rory Say, whose story ‘Rarely Pure and Never Simple‘ is published in issue 10 of Lucent Dreaming. You can watch and listen to the author read the piece on YouTube.

So, what inspired your piece ‘Rarely Pure and Never Simple’? Can you tell us a little more about what it’s about?

A friend of mine told me a harrowing story about nearly drowning as a toddler in a pond on her family’s property. I began thinking about what might happen to your perception of reality if you learned later in life that you had died as a child, and I suppose it wasn’t long before a narrative imposed itself. The story’s opening sentence (“It wasn’t until the eve of her thirtieth birthday that Louise learned she had died as a young girl.”) came in a kind of flash and dug into me. I’ve always believed that a successful sentence tends to generate the sentence that wants to naturally follow (if only you listen very carefully), and so while I may not have had a clear picture of the story as a whole from the outset, I felt relatively safe in my footing.

What are some of your favourite books and art (including shows, videos, music) – of all time or more recently. Why are they favourites?

The question of an all-time favourite book is a cruel one, but if a gun was pointed to my head then I’m almost certain I’d blurt out The Third Policeman by Flann O’Brien. Why? It’s very much the sort of book you’d want to delve into blindly, so all I’ll say here is that it’s simultaneously the most horrifying and hilarious book you’re likely to encounter in this lifetime. Aside from that, a fairly random list of authors whose work I’d be loath to live without might look like this: Alan Moore, Donna Tartt, Mervyn Peake, Cormac McCarthy, Joy Williams, Malcolm Lowry, Kafka, Joyce, Nabokov… (Sorry, that got a bit predictable rather quickly). I’m not much of a film/TV buff, but as for music I’m a die-hard metalhead: Bathory, Slayer, Summoning, Amorphis, etc. Not the best music to put on while writing/reading (except for Summoning!), but there it is.

What, if anything, are you looking forward to right now and are there any writing/creative projects you’re currently working on?

 What I’m looking forward to more than anything else right now is being able to visit family and friends who live abroad. As for current projects, I’ve lately compiled all of my published stories (as well as unpublished ones that’re impatiently waiting to be published) into a thick manuscript collection that I pray someone somewhere will want to publish some day, preferably within the next half-century. In addition to tinkering with that, I’m always working on new stories. I have a few pending publications as well as at least a dozen stories sitting somewhere in the grey limbo of somebody’s slush pile.

Can you tell us about how you got into writing and art? Is there anyone whose support or encouragement really inspired or motivated you?

I spent many years as an Aspiring Writer, which I define as someone who badly wants to write and thinks a lot about writing and talks an awful lot about writing but at the same time is morbidly terrified by the physical reality of sitting at a desk and actually writing. (This sounds like a joke, of course, but I happen to know that it’s a condition afflicting a great many people, many of whom I’m sure would make very talented writers if only they gave themselves a chance.) It wasn’t until about five years ago, at twenty five, that for whatever reason I challenged myself to write a short story and not to trash it until it was done. Needless to say, I not only enjoyed the process, but it became an obsession that persists to this moment.

Where can people see more of you and your work?

For better or worse, I’m basically off all of social media, which I realize doesn’t exactly help the various wonderful journals that’ve published me. I do intend to make a website, though it occurs to me now that I’ve been intending this for longer than I can remember. For right now, readers can find my stories in the following places: Lucent Dreaming Issue 10(!), Short Fiction: The Visual Literary Journal, Curiouser, Air/Light, Flash Frog, Grim & Gilded, the Mysterium Tremendum chapbook series, Every Day Fiction, Flash Fiction Magazine, The Literary Hatchet, as well as on the podcasts NoSleep, Tales to Terrify, and Nocturnal Transmissions.

Lucent Dreaming is an independent creative writing magazine of surreal writing and art, and publisher of emerging authors and artists worldwide. Subscribe to Lucent Dreaming now, support us on Patreon and follow us on TwitterFacebook and Instagram

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