Smoke and Mirrors: An Interview with Kevin Matz

by Josh Denslow Read the Story June 19, 2017

The forks are such a striking image that I just have to ask: Is this something you actually saw that then triggered a story? If not, where did this story begin for you?

It’s not something I actually saw. I woke up one morning with the image of the forks banging around in my head. I have no idea where it came from, but I liked it and kind of played around with it in there for a while. When I started writing, I really had no idea where the story would go, but I let things unfold and wound up with “Forks.”

What kind of person are you? The kind who kicks the forks into the grass or the kind who puts them back where he found them? Why?

Both, for sure. The kind that kicks them into the grass and then second-guesses himself and kicks them back onto the sidewalk.

This story feels to me like a rumination on the things we can’t know. Does ambiguity always play a large role in your writing? In your own reading, do you prefer to be left with questions, or do you like everything revealed?

Ambiguity is pretty much always a part of my writing, and probably a reflection of how I understand the world. I’m not a particularly smart person, so my understanding of anything is always in doubt. Haha. When reading others, I like both writers that leave questions and writers who try to answer questions. Part of what I like about reading is getting to know how different peoples’ minds work.

With the froyo place out of Snickers, what topping does the narrator get instead?

The narrator would be so disappointed he/she couldn’t get anything else. That or Twix. Or maybe cheesecake bits. Brownie bites?

About the Author:

Kevin Matz received mail-order degrees in murderology and murderonomy. Subsequently, he received an MFA from the University of Illinois. These days, he watches Frasier reruns on TV and works as an editor. His writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Jokes Review, The Literary Review, Cream City Review, New World Writing, december, and elsewhere.

About the Interviewer:

Josh Denslow’s stories have appeared in Barrelhouse, Third Coast, CutBank, Wigleaf, and Black Clock, among others. His collection, Not Everyone Is Special, is forthcoming from 7.13 Books.