Editor’s Note: This exchange is part of a series of brief interviews with emerging writers of recent or forthcoming books. If you enjoyed it, please visit other interviews in the I’ve Got Questions feature.
- What’s the title of your book? Fiction? Nonfiction? Poetry? Who is the publisher and what’s the publication date?
I Have the Answer, a short story collection published by Wayne State University Press, April 2020.
- In a couple of sentences, what’s the book about?
Here’s a description from the WSUP website: Kelly Fordon’s I Have the Answer artfully mixes the fabulist with the workaday and illuminates relationships and characters with crisp, elegant prose and dark wit. The stories in Fordon’s latest collection are disquieting, humorous, thought-provoking, and always infused with deep humanity and tenderness.
- What’s the book’s genre (for fiction and nonfiction) or primary style (for poetry)?
Fiction, short stories
- What’s the nicest thing anyone has said about the book so far?
Bonnie Jo Campbell said: “What a great collection! Again and again, Kelly Fordon’s characters charm and disarm us as they face death, divorce, the departure of a maddening child, a diagnosis of dementia, and even molestation. As the world crumbles, they must ask themselves the question, How do I live now? In these big-hearted stories, the answer is to be found in life itself, in living as an act of courage, and living as an art form. Like Lorrie Moore, Fordon proves that comedy is a worthy opponent of tragedy. Times are hard—they’re always hard—so read this book and you’ll feel better!” – Bonnie Jo Campbell, author of Mothers, Tell Your Daughters
- What book or books is yours comparable to or a cross between? [Is your book like Moby Dick or maybe it’s more like Frankenstein meets Peter Pan?]
A pinch of Aimee Bender, a little Lorrie Moore, a bit of Julia Glass.
- Why this book? Why now?
During the pandemic, this collection resonates because it includes a lot of stories about people who are also homebound, dealing with family relationships in humorous and not-so-humorous ways.
- Other than writing this book, what’s the best job you’ve ever had?
I worked as an editorial production assistant at National Geographic Magazine and loved talking with the writers and photographers when they returned from the field.
- What do you want readers to take away from the book?
I want readers to hopefully finish the book with the feeling that relationships are complicated and we’re all doing the best we can.
- What food and/or music do you associate with the book?
Chocolate and wine for the food. Here’s a musical line-up I posted about the book at LargeHearted Boy.
- What book(s) are you reading currently?
I’m reading Rachel Cusk’s new book Second Place and Thomas Lynch’s poetry collection, Bone Rosary.
Learn more about Kelly at her website.
Buy the book from Bookshop.