What is it about rural places that inspires particular kinds of magic?
I have so many answers for this question, but I’ll start with isolation. I think there’s a particular kind of magic in being geographically isolated. I grew up 45 minutes from the nearest Wal-Mart and 3 hours from the nearest mall. I also grew up poor, so those places seemed even further, because who had the money to go anywhere anyway? Because of that I spent a lot of time outside in the mountains. I caught crawdads in the creek and picked berries by the side of the road and went four-wheeling across old coalmines with my sister. I was never unaware of my surroundings. I knew that if I got hurt up in the head of some holler that there was no one to call for help. I knew the walk home would be long and painful and night would be falling soon. I knew that the world bit back, and hard, much harder than I could, though it never stopped me from engaging with it…
Interview by Lindsay Thomas in Shimmer
To read the full interview, visit Shimmer to purchase a digital copy of issue #37
Your writing has a strong sense of place. Why do you suppose that is?
It’s important for me to communicate how it feels to be where I’m from. The mountains have a way of imposing themselves on every part of your life when you live in them. From where the houses are built, how the houses are built. Where the roads go, how they end. What you prepare for in the winter, what you do to access education… It’s a place that can be stereotyped. A place that can be overlooked and seen as a place that has been left behind by the rest of the world… And it’s my hope that by focusing so tenderly on those mountains, I can show that it is a place that is actively existing. That there are stories happening there now just as they have always happened. Stories that are beautiful and important and people who are beautiful and important. I hope that I can be a voice for that.
Love Letters of Home: Interview by Roberta Laurie in On Spec
To read the full interview, visit On Spec to purchase issue #104