Smoking With Gary Fincke

by Beth Thomas Read the Story December 17, 2012

The secretary is not given a name in this story. Why not?

She had a name when I began, but after a while, when I saw Savich saw her as a “condition” and perhaps an “opportunity,” I took it out.

The only physical description given of Savich is a vague reference to his age (that he is much older than her). Why is the man not described?

I’m trusting that the reader can “see” him through his actions and speech.

From the first word on paper to the time the story was ready for submission, how long did it take to write and perfect? What is your writing process like? Did this go through a lot of revisions?

This is very short compared to what I usually write—I thought I was beginning a typical 25 page story, wrote most of this in an hour, and then, when I went back to it, I thought that for once I could play with the short-short form, really pare it back, so it took a half hour of pruning to reach the form it takes now.

What literary (or otherwise!) projects do you have going on right now?

I have a collection of stories coming out from West Virginia University in March, but I think I’m ready to push another collection out. I have a new collection of poems that’s “ready” as well, and I’m trying to complete a new book of creative nonfiction—always something.

About the Author:

Gary Fincke’s latest collection of stories A Room of Rain is just out from West Virginia University.  A novel How Blasphemy Sounds to God was published in 2014 by Braddock Avenue Books.  An earlier collection Sorry I Worried You won the Flannery O’Connor Prize and was published by Georgia.  He is the Charles Degenstein Professor of Creative Writing at Susquehanna University.