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Smoke & Mirrors with Alise Miller

Interview by Michael Czyzniejewski (Read the Story) March 23, 2020

Alise Miller

Art by Katelin Kinney

Okay, let’s get this out of the way: Have you ever eaten anybody?

Not yet.

Why do people find it so hard to walk away, but instead, see things through?

Sometimes it’s really hard to walk away from what you’re used to, especially if you think it won’t be better anywhere else.

Need some advice: Do you ever drain the grease when crockpotting, or do you let it become part of the dish?

I am a rule follower, so I follow the recipe directions to the letter. Whatever the recipe says and, if it doesn’t, leave it in.

When I chose your story, the other editors and I had a talk about motivation, that perhaps we needed more here (from the protagonist, not the husband). I actually liked it a lot better without, especially in a short. Now that the story’s been posted, what do you think? As in, why?

The question of motivation definitely came up more than a few times when workshopping this story, but I always felt very strongly from the beginning that I should never explain it. So, my answer is: I don’t know for sure! All I know is that she does have a motive and that it’s probably a pretty good one.

What goes better with husband, red or white wine? Or perhaps it’s beer—maybe a pilsner or a wheat? I’m having trouble pinning down the flavor profile.

Through process of elimination, I’m thinking a red, if only for ambiance.

About the Author

Alise Miller is an MFA Fiction candidate at Bowling Green State University from Amelia, Ohio. Her work has appeared in Phantom Drift.

About the Interviewer

Michael Czyzniejewski’s fourth collection of stories, The Amnesiac in the Maze, is forthcoming from Braddock Avenue Books in 2023.

About the Artist

Katelin Kinney is from the hills and fields of Southern Indiana. She attained two BFAs from the Herron School of Art and Design in Indianapolis, IN. Her portfolio consists of fine art and commercial freelance work.

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