Smoking With Adam Peterson

by Ashley Inguanta Read the Story March 24, 2014

What sparked this story? Tell me about this piece’s beginnings.

God, I have no idea. I think I’d been writing a lot of breakup stories—you might have noticed—and just trying to find different ways to make that work so I wouldn’t bore even myself. This time it worked with turtles. Really though the answer is probably about the voice. I think I liked this woman and the breezy tone of it compared to the more frantic voice of something like the story I had last quarter. That’s sort of the scale I was working with: panic to numbness.

If you could tell one thing to each of these characters what would it be?

Woman and man: It will be okay. (I’m going to keep telling characters this until it stops being true.)

Turtle: You’re a turtle.

Are you working on any new projects?

I just took a new job so I’m not getting as much getting done as I should be getting done, but I’ve got two novels I’m editing and this collection of 99 short shorts which all these pieces are coming from. So if anyone wants to publish that, just let me know.

Is there anything else you would like to say?

I’m just grateful to you and Tara and everyone at SmokeLong for the opportunity and a great year. It was such a remarkably busy year for me and being a part of SmokeLong has made it much better in some very interesting ways. I’ve loved getting to know the staff and Megan and everyone. Thank you. I hope I didn’t let Kathy down.

About the Author:

Adam Peterson is a Kathy Fish Fellow and writer-in-residence at SmokeLong Quarterly for 2013-14. He is the co-editor of The Cupboard, and the author of The Flasher, My Untimely Death, and, with Laura Eve Engel, [SPOILER ALERT]. His short fiction can be found in The Kenyon Review, Indiana Review, The Normal School, The Southern Review, and elsewhere. Originally from Nebraska, he currently lives in Houston, Texas.

About the Interviewer:

Ashley Inguanta is a Florida-based writer and photographer whose work has appeared in Redivider, PANK, and The Doctor T.J. Eckleburg Review. She is also the Art Director of SmokeLong Quarterly. In 2010, Ashley’s story “The Heart of America” earned an Honorable Mention in Glimmer Train for their Very Short Fiction Award. She is a former art director of SmokeLong Quarterly and author of three poetry collections: The Way Home (Dancing Girl Press, 2013), For the Woman Alone (Ampersand Books, 2014), and Bomb (Ampersand Books, 2016). In 2019 Ampersand Books will publish her newest collection, The Flower, about how death shapes us.