What themes do you want to explore with your writing?
Recently—and I am working on a novel now that is along these thematic lines—my writing has focused on creating families from kind of broken people. And I don’t mean necessarily blood-relation families, but people who have this loneliness from whatever background they have, and have through whatever drama kind of got pieced together with other people who are also looking for fulfillment. In “Least Resistance,” the boy, a young mechanic, is kind of looking for a father figure and isn’t even really sure of his own motives. And he ends up sleeping with the guy’s wife, not in an Oedipal kind of way, but in a way that he’s trying to create a family from this really awkward situation that he’s created for himself. I find a lot of satisfaction in looking for ways to help my characters connect that often require a lot of conflict to get there—there’s a lot of pain that leads them to realize who the people are in their lives that matter, and who is going to be their new family. So my characters will be in a family situation in the beginning and realize how toxic that is to them and how it’s tearing down their personality in other ways and realize, sometimes in unexpected places, that they’ve found the people that need to be their new family. And sometimes it’s going from a blood family to people that aren’t related to them.
If you were not a writer what would you be?
If I wasn’t a writer I would probably be an auto mechanic. Which is the topic of my story. I was a mechanic after high school for four or five years in Waterbury, Connecticut, and just recently I have gone back to those times in my fiction. Going back to that world and understanding the person I was then—more than I did when I was living the experience— has been really eye opening for me. And just appreciating the sincerity of the friends I had back then and the visceral job of working on cars and feeling these hot engines and listening to them and understanding what’s going on in the cylinders and down the carburetor and all that. It just gives me some nostalgia to have that job again. So I think that’s the closest to what I would do. “Least Resistance” is loosely based on a shop I worked at.