Friday, January 13, 2023

The 40 But 10 Interview Series: Chelsea Stickle


New year, new interview series! Looking forward into 2023, I have decided to retire the literary Would You Rather series, but didn't want to stop interviews on the site all together. Instead, I've pulled together 40ish questions - some bookish, some silly - and have asked authors to limit themselves to answering only 10 of them. That way, it keeps the interviews fresh and connectable for all of us!

Joining us today is Chelsea Stickle. Chelsea is the author of the flash fiction chapbook Breaking Points (Black Lawrence Press, 2021). Her stories appear in CHEAP POP, CRAFT, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency and others. Her micros have been selected for Best Microfiction 2021 and the Wigleaf Top 50 in 2022. Everything’s Changing, her second chapbook, is forthcoming from Thirty West Publishing in January 2023. She lives in Annapolis, MD with her black rabbit George and a forest of houseplants. Read more at and find her on Twitter @Chelsea_Stickle

Describe your book poorly.

Weird shit is happening.

Are you a book hoarder or a book unhauler?

As someone wise once said, it’s not hoarding if it’s books!

What do you do when you’re not writing?
So much embroidery! When Roe fell, I took up embroidery. I do sashiko, floral stuff, cross-stitch, etc. I actually went to culinary school for baking and patisserie, so that’s a big part of my life. And I play bass. I need more practice.

What’s the one book someone else wrote that you wish you had written?

Either Mr. Fox by Helen Oyeyemi (the novel answer) or Multiple Choice (the not novel answer) by Alejandro Zambra.

What is your favorite book from childhood?

I can’t pick just one. For years I lived and breathed Diana Wynne Jones’s books. They brought light into my life and made a reader.

Do you think you’d live long in a zombie apocalypse?

I don’t want to! Is that the world you really want to live in? I don’t believe in surviving at all costs. Quality of life matters.

What are you currently reading?

Best Microfiction 2022

What is your favorite way to waste time?

I don’t really believe time is wasted if you’re enjoying yourself, but axe-throwing is quite a bit of fun and very satisfying.

What are some of your favorite books and/or authors?

Helen Oyeyemi, Catherine Lacey, Alejandro Zambra, Milan Kundera and Diana Wynne Jones always top my list. If we’re talking non-fiction: Fuzz by Mary Roach, The Triumph of Seeds by Thor Hansen, The Biggest Bluff by Maria Konnikova, The Confidence Game by Maria Konnikova and Eager by Ben Goldfarb.

What are some of your favorite websites or social media platforms?

The obvious answer used to be Twitter (@Chelsea_Stickle), but since the takeover I’ve begun to appreciate Instagram (@Stickle_Chelsea) more. Like all social media platforms, it is what you make it. And outside following my fellow writers, I mostly watch bunny videos and learn embroidery techniques. So that’s pretty ideal.  


Everything’s changing in towns across the U.S. What we think we know is wrong. Animals have gone wild. Myths and fairytales are upended. Women’s bodies are growing weapon appendages. Nothing is certain anymore. The stories we tell ourselves are shifting. Everything’s Changing is full of everyday magic, transformations, chaos, and coming to terms with the world as it is and how we want it to be.


 “The tales in this chapbook take on a post-Roe world, a world recovering from a pandemic, and a world in which the horrors of daily living dare the magical realist to conjure events more astonishing than the headlines. This Stickle does. She dances with the dead. She rewrites Pygmalion and sympathizes with Medusa. She lops off the fingers and hands of sexual harassers, attacks luxury cars with peacocks, and, at one point, stops time. This collection roils and heaves like an angry, rising sea of surging prose and coast-ravaging metaphors.”

—Jennifer Companik, editor at TriQuartely and author of Check Engine and Other Stories

buy it here:

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