Smoking With Letitia Trent

by Jacinda Townsend Read the Story December 15, 2014

Earlier this year you published a novel, Echo Lake.  Was “I’m Coming for the Baby” a departure for you or do you write often in the short form?

I actually hardly ever write shorts, so this was a departure for me. I’m mostly working on novels and poetry right now. I was very surprised to end  up writing this piece, as it came to me as a whole, after a walk, and I did very little tinkering after it was complete.

What do you think the short form can achieve that the long form cannot?  What is especially alluring about it?

I think a short can be like a slap in the face, in a good way. It can wake a reader up, hold their interest completely for a moment.

“I’m Coming for the Baby” is steeped in the milieu of motherhood.  You are a mother yourself–do you often write about motherhood?  Has that changed since you became a mother?

Before I had a baby, I rarely wrote about motherhood because it was something that was completely foreign to me, though one of my recently published stories, “The Bear,” is about a mother of sons and was written about five years ago. I did often write about being a daughter, though, which is a complicated subject for me.

What projects are you working on now?

I am starting a crime novel trilogy, which will take place in Arkansas, though it is just in the outlining stages and I have so little time anymore to write (though I’m plugging away at it). I am tinkering with a couple of poetry collections. I’m also trying to write some nonfiction pieces, which I hope to someday compile into a larger collection. I am always working on too many things at a time.

What do you consider the most important part of your craft?

Everything I love reading is beautiful in the sentence or line level. But ultimately, I think it depends on what genre I’m writing in and what the goal of the project is.

About the Author:

Letitia Trent's work has previously appeared in Smokelong Quarterly, Fence, Gargoyle, and Sou'Wester. Her novels include Almost Dark and Echo Lake.