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Smoke & Mirrors: An Interview with Steven Grassel

Interview by Sierra Sitzes (Read the Story) September 17, 2018

Steven Grassel

Photograph by Stephen Leonardi

Your story “Weather Person” focuses on one character’s defiance against a force predicted as “inevitable.” How do you best defy the inevitable forces you encounter?

I cross my fingers.

Tell us: What is the worst thing a person can do at a ballgame?

When I was a kid, a drunk gentleman spilled a bunch of nacho cheese on me. I thought that was annoying. Also, every person that goes to a baseball game should be required to eat a hot dog.

Your story is filled with the color blue (flood water, business suits, a dress, bandages). How would some of these images be translated in a different color?

This is a hard question. I don’t think I think this way. Maybe a slightly spookier version where everything is black? All the images stay the same except flood water becomes shadow or nighttime.

The protagonist of your story appears on your TV the same way John Donovan does on theirs. What do you say to them?

“Hello. What are you doing in there?” I’d probably be more interested in what they would say.

What can we do to “prepare for the reality of our future”?

Cross our fingers and eat hot dogs.

About the Author

Steven Grassel is a writer from Pittsburgh. His work has appeared in Wigleaf, Word Riot, and The Turnip Truck(s). He lives in Brooklyn.

About the Interviewer

Sierra Sitzes lives in Spokane, Washington. You can find her writing in Crab Fat Magazine, The Esthetic Apostle, Paddle Shots, and Past Ten.

About the Artist

Find more photography by Stephen Leonardi at Unsplash.

This interview appeared in Issue Sixty-One of SmokeLong Quarterly.
SmokeLong Quarterly Issue Sixty-One
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