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Smoking With Casey Hannan

Interview by Nancy Stebbins (Read the Story) March 29, 2011

Casey Hannan

Smoke Stacks by Ed Luschei

First, I have to ask about crocheting fossils. How is this done?

Crocheting fossils is done like anything else. You put one hand on some yarn, the other hand on a hook, and you just go at it. It’s a lot like eating, but by the end of it, you’ve made something worth selling on the internet. That’s where my two obsessions differ. I’ve never sold a story, but I’ve sold plenty of things made out of yarn. That’s not a complaint.

Is there a place online where a person can see your needlework creations?

I do have an Etsy shop www.etsy.com/shop/knittingkneedle) where a person can not only see my needlework creations but also purchase them if so inclined. I update my shop with new things as the mood strikes me. And by that, I mean rarely.

I had the chance to take a look at your blog: your observations and the way you juxtapose them can be really funny. There is also a certain wry humor to this story, which I think deepened its sadness. Was this something you thought about as you wrote?

Sort of. When I came out to my parents, it happened a lot like this. There was anxiety, of course, but it was also like admitting to a crime after I’d been caught. My parents knew, they’d always known, but there were these emotions they’d not allowed themselves to feel until the moment my gayness became “official.” I’d already processed those emotions. I sometimes think that’s what they were responding to. Not that I was gay, but that I was growing up. I was coming to conclusions about the world all on my own.

About the humor, I guess you could say it naturally developed as a response to the inevitable ignorance. You can only be told you’re going to Hell so many times before it becomes hilarious.

The narrator says he likes “other sons.” Is that where the title comes from? I wondered if the title had any other meanings, given that the conflict is between him and his parents.

As a title, it does have multiple meanings. There’s the attraction to other men, obviously, but then there’s the horrible thought that there’s another son in the family (the brother mentioned near the end), and that maybe he would turn out “fine.” The story doesn’t explicitly address that, but with siblings, there’s always this illusion of having options.

Are there other artistic outlets you have, besides the ones we’ve mentioned?

Not really. I love music, but who doesn’t? I did go to art school, so I have this vocabulary for art I rarely get to use. Still, when I get drunk, Art is all I want to talk about. Art with a capital A.

About the Author

Casey Hannan is an on-again-off-again museum guard protecting/not protecting the art of Kansas City. In his off time, he writes stories and crochets fossils. His work has appeared in Staccato Fiction and Necessary Fiction. He says some things at www.casey-hannan.com.

About the Interviewer

Nancy Stebbins is a psychiatrist, a Flash Factory groupie, and an MFA student at Pacific University. Her short stories have been published in The Summerset Review, Grey Sparrow Journal and other places. She shares a blog with three other Pacific students: http://pop-upprincesses.blogspot.com.

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

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