“A shot of espresso”: An Interview With Guest Reader Kate Gehan

by Shasta Grant See all Guest Readers
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Kate Gehan will be giving away a signed copy of her short story collection, The Girl & the Fox Pirate (Mojave River Press, 2018), to the writer of the story she selects for publication from this week’s submissions!


What themes do you find yourself returning to you in your writing?

Power structures in personal relationships, and between individuals and society. Loss and loneliness.

What do you think flash fiction can do that longer stories can’t do?

They’re a shot of espresso. Even if a piece of successful flash is quiet and lyrical, it can invigorate and elevate you to a higher wavelength almost immediately compared to a longer story. I love the efficiency of getting to the core emotion or point of action.

Can you tell us a little about your writing and revision process? Are you a fast and furious drafter or more of a slow burn writer? Do you prefer to write at home in complete silence or at a coffee shop in town?

Honestly, I’m all over the place, depending on the season and my ability to focus based on work and family obligations. Sometimes a story is a lightning strike on the page and I get it down all at once. Or, it can take me three or four sittings to craft a true first draft, and I may realize I need to blend or cut apart portions of other stories in progress. Before revising I put my writing aside for long enough so that it feels like a stranger’s words and I am able to be far more creative and brutal with edits.

I like writing in silence or with very specific music playing to match my mood. If I’m in public, I’m usually wearing headphones.

What kind of story would you love to find in your queue this week?

Heavy metaphors and sentimentality tend to be out of fashion these days, but if you can deliver either of those with modern style and vivid imagery, you’ve got my attention.

About the Reader:

Kate Gehan was born and raised in New York City and is a graduate of Haverford College and Emerson College’s MFA program. Her short story collection, The Girl & The Fox Pirate, was published with Mojave River Press in 2018. Among other publications, her writing has appeared in McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Split Lip Magazine, Literary Mama, People Holding, and as a winner of Midwestern Gothic’s Flash Fiction Summer 2016 series. Kate read as a cast member of the 2014 Listen to Your Mother Show and her work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, Best Small Fictions, The Best of the Net, and Wigleaf’s 50 (Very) Short Fictions. She lives with her family in the Midwest. Find her on Twitter @stateofkate and at kategehan.com.

About the Interviewer:

Shasta Grant is the author of the chapbook Gather Us Up and Bring Us Home (Split Lip Press, 2017). She was the 2016 SmokeLong Quarterly Kathy Fish Fellow and she won the 2015 Kenyon Review Short Fiction Contest. Her stories have appeared in Hobart, matchbook, MonkeyBicyclewigleaf, and elsewhere.