Today we are pleased to feature Thomas Gresham as our Authors Talk series contributor. He takes the time to discuss his work “Iris.” Touching on many aspects of his writing, he details the impetus for writing the piece and his mental process in developing it in addition to many other topics. His varied discussion demonstrates organic sources of creativity and an inside look at how literary fiction is developed.
Writing the piece for a monthly reading event, Thomas draws on his real-life experiences weaving in themes of time as he contemplates how “we talk about the past while the past is happening” in events of tragedy and violence. Considering modern issues of mass violence and domestic abuse, he reflects on the feeling of being “trapped in the horror” of hearing bad news and applies the idea to concept of recalling such events where things begin “fading in and out of memory.” However, through this grim focus on violence in its many manifestations, he seeks to emphasize the phenomenon of “negative things resulting in positive things” which stems from his own worldview. His discussion shows writing’s complicated process and varied influences.
Congratulations to SR Contributor Kathleen McCormick on her first novel, Dodging Satan: My Irish/Italian, Sometimes Awesome, But Mostly Creepy, Childhood (Sand Hill Review Press). It is currently available for purchase on Kindle, and will be released in paperback later this month.
The book is a feminist coming of age story of Catholic Bridget Flaherty set in the ’60s. It’s a fun—and readers so far have said— moving read. Annie Lanzillotto (L is for Lion) has written: “In scenes from laugh-out-loud Catholic brainwashing of children, to heart-wrenching domestic violence, to riveting teenage excursions toward sex, Bridget navigates gender in both domestic and celestial hierarchies…. Frightening and glorious relationships exist between phosphorous and holiness, virgins and bicycles, crucifixes and spices, exorcism and mascara.” Josephine Hendin (Heart Breakers: Women and Violence in Contemporary Culture and Literature) says that Dodging Satan “outdoes Mary McCarthy’s Memories of a Catholic Girlhood in its wit, intelligence and irresistible mixture of realism and charm. It is simply a joy to read.”
For more of Kathleen’s work, visit her website and read her short essay in Issue 12.