Smoking With Bret Fetzer

Read the Story December 15, 2003

So this story… autobiographical plea for affection or random fiction?

Like much fiction, it exaggerates parts of the author in perverse, unflattering directions.

How does writing flash compare to writing plays and fairy tales? Does one help or hinder the others?

I don’t really set out to write a piece of any particular length; I start writing and it ends when it ends. Plays take longer to write, fairy tales not so long, usually. This piece, I think, I wrote in little bursts over several months, until it seemed done.

What authors and/or books inspire you?

I just reread a novel from the 1960s called Doobie Doo, written by Ivan C. Karp, who managed the Leo Castelli Gallery in New York and had some part in discovering Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol. The novel moves fluidly from an essay voice to a story about a guy shuttling between two girls; it’s very funny and startlingly intelligent, and it’s one of my favorite books — I aspire to fuse essay and fiction in a similar way. “ISO” is not an example of that, however.

Have you always wanted to write or did you sort of stumble into it?

I’ve been writing since I was six years old or so, when I wrote little adventure stories about chipmunks who went to an undersea city, heavily influenced by a Captain Nemo movie I saw on television.

If you weren’t writing, what would you be doing?

Drinking and whoring myself into an early grave.

About the Author:

Bret Fetzer writes plays and fairy tales. His collections of original fairy tales, Petals & Thorns and Tooth & Tongue, were published by Rampant Books in Seattle, WA, and are available through His plays (including The Three Policemen, Planet Janet, The Story of the Bull, and Scream Queen) have been produced around the U.S. Seattle Children's Theatre has commissioned him to write an adaptation of the picture book Everyone Knows What a Dragon Looks Like, currently scheduled to be produced in 2004.

About the Artist:

A native of Ohio, Marty D. Ison lives with his wife transplanted in the sands of the Gulf of Mexico. He studied fine arts at Saint Petersburg College. In addition to the visual arts, he writes poetry, short stories, and novels. See more of Ison's work here.