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Reflections of a working writer and reader



Five Questions: Dispatches From An MFA-Seeking Writer

1. Why do you blog?
I resisted for a very long time but I ultimately decided to give it a go when I realized I could use it as a sounding board for my experiences of going through an MFA program. It’s allowed me to meet other people in similar situations and, ultimately, a place to reflect on the ups and downs and vent when the downs outnumber the ups.

2. Which author and/or book has most influenced you?
Really, is there anyone who can provide a definitive answer to this? It’s so hard because so many of the books that leap to mind with this question are titles that have informed various parts of my life. THE CHOCOLATE WAR by Robert Cormier is a standard to which I hold Young Adult Literature. Anything by David Levithan fills me with hope and dazzles me with possibilities. ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF SOLITUDE by Gabriel Garcia Marquez taught me so much about symbolism. THE CIDER HOUSE RULES by John Irving (almost anything by John Irving) taught me beauty and simplicity. I don’t know if I can pick a single title or author who has influenced everything I say/do, as a writer or otherwise, because everyone I’ve mentioned here has made a significant contribution in a very different manner.

3. Which three blogs do you most visit?
Galleycat (mainly for my work as a book publicist).
Voix de Michele (my friend Michele’s blog is a must read for me daily).
Talking In The Dark (the blog of poet Billy Merrell).

4. Why do you read fiction?
I read fiction the way some people read philosophy. The best stuff draws correlations between the mundane and the sublime, all within the confines of what we assume is a fantasy of the mind. Non fiction can do much the same and have a different impact because you know it’s real. But fiction accomplishes the goal while also entertaining the question “what if?”

5. What makes you laugh?
Anything ever touched by Carol Burnett or Madeline Kahn is guaranteed to reduce me to tears and make my stomach ache for days from all the laughter. Hope that helps.

Brian Farrey blogs at Dispatches From An MFA-Seeking Writer, which can be found here:

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