Thursday, December 17, 2009

An Interview With Laura Hirneisen

Laura Hirneisens short story, Besties, appears in STORYGLOSSIA 37. Here, Laura talks about the origins of the story, unreliable narrators, symbols in fiction, and what shes currently working on.

Anne Valente: Where did the premise for "Besties" come from?

Laura Hirneisen: Ive always been fascinated by relationships, and I tend to write fiction based around them. What began this story for me was the concept of two friends in a destructive relationship. From there, the story developed around the characters.

AV: The narrator criticizes Beth for needing men to love her, but she's complicit in this too - she can't exist without Travis. Was it difficult to write this character, to get inside the mind of a somewhat unreliable narrator?

LH: Im drawn to challenging characters and subjects, so for me, writing the narrator was all the more compelling for her unreliability.

AV: Makeup appears a lot in this story - gloss, lip liner, Seductress Pink nail polish. How does makeup inform the story, for you?

LH: The makeup represents not only the cultural trappings of femininity (which I think play an important part in this story) but also the way the characters disguise themselves with the roles they assume.

AV: The ending is devastating, and the title feels like a slap in the face when we're finished reading. Did this feel like an inevitable ending for this narrator?

LH: Some writers like to plot and develop outlines for their story, but my writing style is based more on discovery. When I began writing the story, the ending was an unknown. It was only when I reached the midpoint that the ending became inevitable.

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

: Im working on quite a few short stories that Im hoping to place. In the mean time, I have a short story called Hit forthcoming soon from Wigleaf.

Laura Hirneisens work has appeared in Monkeybicycle, Word Riot, 2River View, Mud Luscious, Ghoti Magazine, and other journals.

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