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Smoke and Mirrors: An Interview with Maggie Nye

Interview by Karen Craigo (Read the Story) June 20, 2016

Maggie Nye

Art by Dave Petraglia

I was kind of wondering at the impulse behind the story. Did you want to tell a puberty story in a new way? Or was Medusa the driving idea?

I do find myself drawn to writing about adolescence, but actually, I wanted to write a midrash for the Medusa story and that’s how this piece came about.

Is this piece part of a larger project? If so, describe. If not, what do you have going right now?

Yes, this story is part of a larger piece—an instruction manual (loosely) for godhood. I had fun creating a class struggle between the old gods (Chthonics) and the new ones (Olympians), and I situated Medusa and her growing up right in the middle of all of it.

What draws you to flash?

I like to read flash because it’s very close to poetry. It’s such a small package of story that flash pieces can really afford to be innovative and beautiful and strange with language in a way that longer pieces of prose often can’t maintain. They’re kind of gemlike.

Microprompt: Write a futuristic/sci-fi story that captures the Trump presidency in 140 characters.

Oh gosh: The wall on the Mexican border is used, instead, to keep U.S. citizens in.

You’ve simultaneously won the Powerball and grown tired of the writing life. How do you choose to live out your days?

Could I still read? Or is that part of the writing life? I really don’t know. If the last question didn’t make me anxious, this one sure does. I’m not sure I’d be all that changed. I’d get a better bathtub for my apartment—one where my legs don’t stick out. I’d hike a lot. I’d help out my friends and my mom. Boring answers, sorry.

Also, this isn’t part of the interview, but I also want to offer a quick word of gratitude to my friend, Sarah Martin, who created the stunning artwork for this story.

About the Author

Maggie Nye’s work has appeared or is forthcoming at Hobart online, Phantom Drift, and Pleiades Journal.


About the Interviewer

Karen Craigo is the author of two full-length poetry collections, Passing Through Humansville and No More Milk, both published by Sundress Publications, and of three chapbooks. She also writes fiction and essays. Professionally, she is a reporter in Springfield, Missouri, for Springfield Business Journal. She is nonfiction editor of Mid-American Review and poetry series editor for Moon City Press, as well as Prose Poetry Editor for Pithead Chapel. She served as the fifth Poet Laureate of Missouri (2019-21).

About the Artist

A Best Small Fictions 2015 Winner, Dave Petraglia‘s writing and art have appeared in Bartleby Snopes, bohemianizm, Cheap Pop, Crack the Spine, Five:2:One, Gambling the Aisle, Hayden’s Ferry, matchbook, Medium, McSweeney’s, Necessary Fiction, North American Review, Per Contra, Points in Case, Popular Science, Razed, SmokeLong Quarterly, Up the Staircase, and others.

This interview appeared in Issue Fifty-Two of SmokeLong Quarterly.
SmokeLong Quarterly Issue Fifty-Two

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