Monday, December 14, 2009

An Interview With Gary Moshimer

Gary Moshimer’s “Feel Your Boobies” appears in STORYGLOSSIA 37. Here, Gary discusses writing humor, narrative distance, point of view, his own childhood lemonade stand, and forthcoming works.

Anne Valente: There’s so much great humor in this story. Is humor hard to write, or does it come naturally for you?

Gary Moshimer: Thank you. I didn't consciously plan for this to be a “humorous” piece, but I think because of the circumstances and the misconceptions of the brothers it naturally became comical. I see it as an equally tragic story, brothers whose parents are fake and don't spend a lot of time with them, leaving them to their own devices.

AV: The fantastic humor is due in part, I think, to your mastery of narrative distance – the children’s point of view contrasts so well with our understanding as adult readers. Was it difficult to get back into the mindset of young children?

GM: Of course, the humor is totally due to the fact that we as adults see how inappropriate the brothers' actions are. I didn't have trouble getting into the mindset of these two. I did some pretty weird things as a kid. Me and a friend actually did put vodka into lemonade we were selling by the highway, but no one stopped, so we drank it and threw up on the lawn in front of my father.

AV: It’s interesting that you choose two brothers as the collective point of view. Why did two children feel like the right choice for the story, as opposed to the mindset of one child?

GM: The brothers, to me, had to function as one unit, like soldiers, for their survival. It's kind of them against the world, righting the wrongs. They have to save their maid and help the teacher and even salvage a heroic image of their father in their own minds. I never really stopped to think about this point of view. It just seemed the way it had to be.

AV: Breast cancer, Kool-Aid stands, saving the women of the world – how did all of these elements come together for you? How did this story begin?

GM: This all started when I saw that sticker on a car: Feel Your Boobies. I wasn't sure I'd seen it correctly, and some girl at work said that yes, she had one that said, Save the TaTas. I knew I had to use that in a story somehow, and I saw some kids running a benefit car wash, so I began thinking about even younger kids trying to raise money in ways they thought grown-ups wanted them to, and it all kind of went from there.

AV: What are you working on now? Any forthcoming stories we can point readers to?

GM: I'm excited to have a story coming up in Smokelong Quarterly in December, and one in Necessary Fiction.

Gary Moshimer has stories in Word Riot, Eclectica, Emprise Review, PANK, Northville Review, Keyhole 7, and others. He works in a hospital.

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