Do you have a favorite line or lines from your pieces?
“Despite your stealth I heard the soft scraping of your fingers as they touched the photos of our children on the fridge.” I hope this is an evocative line that shows a woman pulled apart by powerful, conflicting emotions, and a man so desperate and eager to have his wife back that he’s always alert and waiting to hear the tiniest noise that signifies she has returned.
What inspired your piece?
A couple of things. I look after my kids most of the time while my wife works, and I’ve always been super-determined to create a stable family environment for them. I’m 41 now, and some of my couple friends have broken up recently, so I was thinking about how I would react if my wife left – pretty fucking desperately, I should imagine.
Also, when I was a kid, I loved a book, The Snow Spider by Jenny Nimmo. It was about enchanted items. I find the concept of items imbued with the essence of the person that owns them beautiful – like items imbued with the essence of the power of human consciousness in Philip Pullman’s excellent His Dark Materials trilogy. I love that.
Who is your most influential writer? Who do you always go back to for inspiration?
So many, but I’m inspired by writers like Chuck Palahniuk, somebody who can write a great line without a hint of ego or pretention, but moreover who throws out relatable but insane characters and plots.
What do you want readers to take away from your piece?
I’m mostly happy they’ve taken the time to read it. If they also get a real sense of ambiguity about the efficacy of the guy’s enchantments versus how much he’s created a load of voodoo nonsense as a framework for making sense of his wife’s complicated and uncertain departure and then return, all the better.
Do you ever create soundtracks for the piece you’re writing?
No, but like many writers I know, I have random song lyrics plaguing me for hours of any given day, so I’ve often got a soundtrack for writing myself.
Do you keep any snacks around while you write? If so, what’s your favorite?
I eat so many bags of chips, and I have to stop. I’m a total glutton.
What is your ideal writing environment?
At my desktop computer in my bedroom, pretty much always. A real product of my time, I eschew the trend towards writing on phones and tablets and laptops, too awkward, but for me writing in a physical notepad would be a pretentious extravagance – for me! Not for anybody else, who may love that! I’m not criticizing any of those other methods at all.
Do you find writing invigorating or exhausting?
Do you have any future writing plans?
I’m at least two-thirds of the way through my second novel, and I’m currently hawking my first to agents with a bit of welcome interest and quite a bit of rejection! I’ll continue to bash out flash fiction and humor as ideas strike me.
You can read Simon Pinkerton’s piece “A Hex That Binds” in Issue Five of The Ginger Collect.