Who is your most influential writer? Who do you always go back to for inspiration?
My most influential writer has been for many many years: David Foster Wallace.
Do you have a favorite line or lines from your piece?
The last line or “I had been benched once for taking a drag of his inhaler. Had it been ten years later I probably would have been expelled and sent to a “special” school for the delinquent children of ill-qualified parents. Between coping mechanisms and peer pressure I would have eventually turned into a delinquent child myself, and then inevitably spent the rest of my life in and out of AA, Drug Rehab and jail.”
What inspired your piece?
As far as the concept for this story goes, it may actually be the oldest of my published stories, and certainly the oldest of my Ginger Collect stories. I actually came up for the idea when I was in 4th grade (like the narrator), I wondered if there could be a medical reason for a student to be required to smoke during the school day.
What season do you find you write the most in?
Probably the Autumn since I always do the NaNoWriMo Challenge, but I still try to write a lot all year round.
What do you want readers to take away from your piece?
I want readers to think about how strange the “new” person is, and realize that even if this is the case, that dosen’t necessarily make them bad, you may learn to like them and maybe learn a thing or two along the way.
Do you keep any snacks around while you write? If so, what’s your favorite?
Bourbon, not sure if that counts as a snake or if you want to publish that answer.
Do you ever create soundtracks for the piece you’re writing?
Sometimes, with the longer pieces certainly. No so much with this specific one.
What is your ideal writing environment?
Underground, in the dark, at night, with my feet propped up, and cartoons on the TV. This is ideal of course, but I can and have written in any environment.
Do you find writing invigorating or exhausting?
Neither, I find it a compulsion.
Do you have any future writing plans?
Absolutely. I will continue to write short stories until the end, I see no reason to stop. I will continue to send these stories to the Ginger Collect, and other places, and I am currently working on 2 unusual story collections, one designed to emulate an VHS recorded off the tv tentatively called: “The Boy Scout Camp at the End of the World a VHS Mixtape”, and another as a fix-up taking place in a world where writing is taboo and writers have formed into outlaw writing clubs tentatively called: “The Rejected Ones”.
You can read Zach Smith’s piece “Brittle Lung Syndrome or A Healthy Interest in Tobacco” in Issue Five of The Ginger Collect.