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SmokeLong Quarterly

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Smoking With Jules Archer

Interview by Anderson Holderness (Read the Story) June 25, 2013

Jules Archer

art by Alexander C. Kafka

Ginny is one of the most intriguing characters I’ve ever stumbled upon. What inspired you to create her?

It was one of those random driving-to-work-in-the-morning thoughts. I was thinking—what if there was a girl who really wanted to be kidnapped. Serial-Killer-Taken. But what if (sweet, sweet irony) no one wanted her? No one would ever even try because she had something working against her. And it’s not ugliness because that’d be okay.

Someone would still kidnap you if you’re thin and ugly.

But what if she was fat and hard to carry? If you’re fat, you’re out of luck. There are logistics to that shit. No one could lift her. Have their way. Sure, she’d make it easy, because it’s her fantasy, but they wouldn’t know that. So from there, that train-of-thought-spiral just kind of morphed into this character Ginny Hanover with a demented reflection on the unfairness of life.

Do you watch a lot of horror movies?

I do. I’m kinda obsessed with them. Any genre. Slashers, paranormal, comedies. I love them all. I turn off all the lights and sit in the dark when I’m home alone. It’s raucous.

You do a great job pinching wit into the grotesque. Are your other poems and stories this darkly humorous?

I think so. I think many of them have undertones of dark humor. But I don’t actively set out to give them that twist; it’s just my take on life. Things get awful, so what else can you do except point and cackle? Make fun instead of dwell on the unpleasant. Hell, if I were thrown into a trunk of a car, I’d at least like to keep an honest laugh. All you have in life is a sense of humor. Or at least that’s how I see it.

What is your writing process like?

When I write flash it’s usually the just-write, spur-of-the-moment kind. I have an idea—usually one that comes to me when driving or in the shower, one of those debauched “what-ifs”—and I’ll sit at the computer until I upchuck the story. Good or bad, it’s out. I’ll leave it for a few days and go back to finish it up.

Every Sunday I write. It’s my day. Full spurts. From 9am to 9pm, with the occasional breaks for booze or food or Twitter. During the week I try to squeeze in an hour or more each day, but if I’m unsuccessful during the week I don’t beat myself up. As long as I have Sunday. That’s my day.

Friends don’t invite me anywhere anymore.

Will Ginny’s dreams ever come true?

I like to think so. Only I imagine some sort of disastrous Keystone Cops scenario in which this poor girl does all she can to make her dream real, and then it gets fucked up beyond all recognition because she’s so damn eager and then somehow she’s on the news and in the jail cell and it’s all downhill from there, but Ginny’s had her thrill and it’s been amazing.

About the Author

Jules Archer writes flash fiction in Arizona. A Pushcart-nominated writer, her work has appeared in SmokeLong Quarterly, >kill author, Pank, The Butter, Maudlin House, and elsewhere. She likes to smell old books, drink red wine, and read true crime tales. Her chapbook ALL THE GHOSTS WE’VE ALWAYS HAD is out from Thirty West Publishing.

About the Interviewer

Anderson Holderness lives in Athens, Georgia. He explores the Internet daily. Today he found a sport called mutton busting. He has been published in PANK, > kill author, and others. He hopes you are finding your day dry and comfortable.

About the Artist

Alexander C. Kafka is a journalist, photographer, and composer in Bethesda, Maryland. He created the cover image for Lost Addresses: New and Selected Poems by Diann Blakely (Salmon Poetry, 2017). His work has also been published at All Things Fashion DC, BuzzFeed, Fast Company, Juked, Vice, The Washington Post, The Writing Disorder, and many other periodicals. He has been on the documentation team for the Washington Folk Festival at Glen Echo and is a contributing concert photographer for DMNDR. Kafka studied fine-art figure photography with Missy Loewe at the Washington School of Photography and portrait photography with Sora DeVore at Glen Echo Photoworks.

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SmokeLong Fitness--The Community Workshop

Beginning September 1, 2022! Register Now!

Starting September 1, SmokeLong will launch a workshop environment/community christened SmokeLong Fitness. This asynchronous community workshop will happen on our dedicated workshop site. You will work in small groups of around 10 participants to give and receive feedback. Each Monday, you will receive a new writing task (one writing task each week) designed by the senior editor team of SmokeLong. The core workshop is asynchronous, so you can take part from anywhere at anytime. We are excited about creating a supportive, consistent and structured environment for flash writers to work on their craft.