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Smoking With Tobias Amadon Bengelsdorf

Interview by Beth Thomas (Read the Story) July 26, 2010

Tobias Amadon Bengelsdorf

Epilogue by Joaquin Villaverde

Where did the character Dmitri come from?

Dmitri (and the narrator in the first section) is based on a frightening man who wanted a tennis court I was using. He was a great big man, with a thick but well trimmed beard, and a tight t-shirt that showed his enormous barrel chest. He came up to me and said, with a thick Russian accent, “How long are you play?” I was pretty sure he was in the Russian Mafia. So I stopped playing.

Who is the narrator in each section?

1) The frightening Russian mobster, tennis player, short story advice giver, read with a Russian accent.
2) A plumber, read with an Irish accent.
3) A detective, read with a film noir accent, whatever that means.

Was the organization (3 self-referencing sections) part of the plan, or did it come naturally with the telling of the story?

It just happened naturally. I wanted these siblings to transcend time and place, so I set them settings in 3 places, and at least 2 times (the first section doesn’t really have a time).

There is a lot going on here. Can you point out something we might have missed, a secret in the storytelling?

Dmitri’s sister Svetlana is named for Svetlana Kuznetsova, who is a Russian tennis player, to continue the theme.

What other projects are you working on right now?

Just trying to finish my damn novella.

About the Author

Tobias Amadon Bengelsdorf’s first story collection, An Implausibility of Gnus, was published in 2009 by Another New Calligraphy. His fiction has appeared in elimae, Pure Francis, and as a FeatherProof Minibook. He is the editor of Fiction at Work, and the Quickies! Mascot. He lives in Chicago.

About the Interviewer

Beth Thomas is originally from New Mexico but currently lives in California due to military relocation. She works as a technical writer in the aerospace/defense industry—don’t ask what she writes about ’cause she can’t really tell you. She has a BA and an MA in writerly things from New Mexico universities. Her work has recently appeared in Pindeldyboz Online, SmokeLong Quarterly, Juked, Word Riot, and other places.

About the Artist

Joaquin Villaverde on Flickr.

This interview appeared in Issue Twenty-Eight of SmokeLong Quarterly.
SmokeLong Quarterly Issue Twenty-Eight

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