As you know, I had retired the literary Would You Rather interview 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!
Today, Gina Tron joins us. Gina is the author of multiple books, including the memoir "You're Fine.", absurdist short story collection "Eggolio and Other Fables," and poetry collections "Star 67," "Employment," and "A Blurry Photograph of Home." Forthcoming memoirs "Eat, Fuck, (Write About) Murder" and "Suspect" will be released by Vegetarian Alcoholic Press in 2023. She loves writing poetry, memoir, and journalism.
Why do you write?
There are only few things in my life I am one hundred percent certain of and writing is one of them. When it comes to writing, I have always felt a calling to it. The times in my life when I felt the least myself were the times that I neglected to write. Writing has given me purpose in my darkest days and increased happiness in my happiest of days.
If you could have a superpower, what would it be?
It would be a time machine that goes back 15 minutes. I could do all kinds of mischief and not have to pay the consequences.
How do you celebrate when you finish writing a new book?
I take a break from writing (with exception of my jobs) for a few days, if not a week. I relax, spend time with loved ones, and try to put my phone on “do not disturb.”
Describe your book in three words.
Home distorted home.
Describe your book poorly.
Poetry book of whining.
What is your favorite way to waste time?
Junk television and sleeping. I used to be more pretentious and only read or watch educational things but now I realize that zoning out on reality tv is actually inspiring.
What is your favorite book from childhood?
I loved reading R.L. Stine’s Fear Street books and anything by Stephen King. I would go through those books as if they were candy.
If you could go back and rewrite one of your books or stories, which would it be and why?
Parts of my first memoir “You're Fine.” as I started writing it shortly after the events of it. It was also my first attempt at a book. I feel it’s possible I didn’t have enough distance from the events and focused too much on some of the interpersonal relationships I had that don’t propel the story forward. But, like any piece of work, there is always room for improvement and at a certain point I just have to let it go and be a time piece of my life.
Do you read the reviews of your books or do you stay far far away from them, and why?
Yes. I thoroughly enjoy and learn from constructive criticism and always welcome it. If anything, I wish I had more of it. Any hateful reviews or emails are a different thing, but it just comes with putting yourself out there.
If you were stuck on a deserted island, what’s the one book you wish you had with you?
Stephen King’s “On Writing.” It’s one of the easiest books for me to read and each time I read it, it helps improve my writing in a whole new way.
Gina Tron’s bombastic and tender recollection of homeplace sets an entire stage where small and large tragedies play out—where readers become drenched in the lived experience of what it means to be “coming of age / barely / feeling the river below.” Here, imagination cuts through the absence and darkness that surrounds. Tron leads us into a darkroom where the images and stories of home are still-and-forever processing, a portrait in search of a memory in search of mystery. We are invited to walk alongside the speaker as she goes “stalking abandoned malls and searching for the remnants of life,” always burning with desire to know more. Tron tells us that there are lessons to be found inside of transgression. This book is a language joyride providing the vehicle of escape.
A Blurry Photograph of Home was last found in a salvage-titled car. Some sitting water may have morphed the media, but the words are fiercely legible. You want to dry it out, clean the cover, and refresh such an intimate object. Maybe a few of Gina Tron’s memories will rub off on you. It is a scrapbook of journeys across America.
—Josh Dale, publisher and author of The Light to Never Be Snuffed
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