The Believer has a really great interview with Dan Chaon, author of You Remind Me of Me. Tom Barbash, the interviewer, says Chaon “is one of the oddest, smartest, most psychologically astute writers working today. His stories manage to be dark and often beautiful, unnerving and revelatory.” Chaon talks about how his writing is affected by music, his obsession with fate and circumstance and choice, and the difference between writing a short story and writing a novel:
As a short-story writer, I usually just start at the beginning and write through to the end. At first that’s what I thought a novel would be like. I think that the way that I write stories is by instinct. You have some basic ideas – a character, or an image, or a situation that sounds compelling – and then you just feel your way around until you find the edges of your story. It’s like going into a dark roomÅ you stumble around until you find the walls and then inch your way to the light switch. With a novel, it’s more like you’re in a dark gymnasium, or a dark field. You can’t stumble around blindly as easily and find your way.
There’s a lot more and it’s all terrific. Go read it now.