Sara Crowley is a writer whose work has appeared in loads of places right across the internet. and she is easily one of my favourite authors. Sara has written many great stories, the best of which have left me wishing I had written them. Especially this one. There are links to a selection of her fiction in the sidebar of her blog. Seriously, if you haven’t read anything by Sara, head over there and have click through her work. Done that? Good. Now sit back, relax. Comfortable? Then it is with great pleasure that I present to you, Sara Crowley’s Life in Short Fiction:
1. The first short story you remember enjoying.
I don’t recall a specific story but my Gran read Woman, Woman’s Own, and My Weekly magazines. When I visited her with my mum I’d sit on the sofa and read the stories while they had their grown-up chats. As a child I loved all the happy-in-the-end romances and the oh-my-goodness twists.
2. The short story that turned you on to writing short fiction.
Apparently I was telling stories before I could read. I’d sit with a book open and look at the pictures and make up my own versions. I think I was always going to write. My idea of playing in the garden was to sit on my swing and pretend I was telling a story on Jackanory.
3. A story by the author whose body of work you feel has most influenced yours.
I have favourite writers and of course they influence me to a certain extent but a) I have worked hard at finding my own voice and b) I’m nowhere near as good as them. Yet.
Janice Galloway and Lorrie Moore are my writer crushes. I do not have their dazzle, shine, skill, depth, and intelligence. I’d like to be far more influenced by them than I am!
There’s a famous Moore quote: “Things did not happen exactly that way; I re-imagined everything. And that’s what fiction does. Fiction can come from real-life events and still be fiction.” Amen to that. Whilst that isn’t responsible for influencing my writing I find the quote enormously comforting.
Lorrie Moore – People Like That Are The Only People Here
4. The story from your own body of work that most reveals something of who Sara Crowley is.
I’m fondest of Ha Ha Bonk at FRiGG because the narrator is the main character from Salted, my novel in progress. Also, ahem, the biscuit thing may be kinda true.
5. Your all time favourite short story.
Impossible to pick one. The power of a short story is often how it chimes with a reader at a particular time. What resonates then may not resonate now.
These are highly recommended:
Janice Galloway – Later He Would Open His Eyes in a Strange Place
Helen Simpson – Hey Yeah Right Get a Life
Roddy Doyle – The Photograph
Lorrie Moore – Places to Look for Your Mind
Sara Crowley is the winner of Waterstone’s Bookseller Bursary and her novel in progress – Salted – was chosen as one of the four finalists in the Faber/Book Tokens Not Yet Published Award. Her short stories have won prizes and been published in many lovely places including 3: A.M, Pulp Net, Neon, PANK, Fractured West, and FRiGG. She blogs at http://asalted.blogspot.com/ and appreciates you taking the time to read this.
4 Responses to My Life in Short Fiction – Sara Crowley
Brilliant interview. Thanks, you two. And I share your Lorrie Moore crush, Sara though, for some reason, I always seem to forget how much I love her. Been revisiting ‘Self Help’ and have been blown away by it, again.
Thanks so much for taking the time to answer my questions Sara. I re-read a good number of your stories while sorting out this post and they just get better. I have the Lorrie Moore doorstop collection on my too read pile. Will have to track down your other recommendations.
Thanks, Nik! Lorrie Moore is awesome good. Seriously wonderful writing.
Thanks for asking me, Dan. You are so kind to say lovely things about my stories. I am super chuffed that you read and like them. And yes, read the Lorrie Moore and enjoy. I think she’s *the* finest American short story writer.
By the way, the Roddy Doyle is at http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2006/10/16/061016fi_fiction
Thanks for the interview, it’s great discovering writers this way.
Oh… I miss Jackanory! And story time at primary school, I can still remember the thrill of rushing to the story corner and sitting on soft carpet to be swept off to Elsewhere. There should be something like that for grown-ups…
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