Goldfish Grimm: If we could peek into your office (coffee shop, kitchen table, wherever you write), what would your writing process look like?
A.G. Carpenter: Not very exciting. I type like mad. Pause for thought. Drink some coffee. Mutter to myself a bit. Rinse and repeat.
GFG: What is it actually like?
AGC: Much the same. With the exception that the process usually begins somewhere far removed from my writing space. That’s the grain of the story idea and it usually strikes while I’m doing something mundane (washing dishes, folding laundry, cooking dinner, watching TV). Before I know it, I’ll have a whole story sketched out in my head. Then it’s just a question of writing it down and treating it with the editing machete until it’s something worth reading a second time.
GFG: Was there anything in particular that inspired “Happy After All”?
AGC: It started with a writing prompt (voodoo) and then grew into a story about the magic of everyday choices. And love. I’m not the kind of girl who tends to write happy endings but I’m a sucker for characters looking for love.
GFG: What role did Abigail’s ugliness play for you when writing this story? It provides a moment for Genevieve to have an honest, unfiltered reaction, but would you say that’s necessarily a positive thing?
AGC: Well, I think that honest and unfiltered reactions are part of being human. It’s what we do and say afterward that sorts “honesty” from “meanspiritedness”. Genny has the grace to recognize that she’s said something that – true or not – is still hurtful. And Genny’s honesty, perhaps influenced by Abigail’s own recognition and acceptance of her (Abigail’s) flaws, cuts as sharply in her examination of why she hasn’t found love before this point. I think it’s the ability to not filter her answers to Abigail that allow Genny to see that she has to be open to whatever may come – good or bad – because the good is worth the risk of the bad.
GFG: Do you have anything you’d like to plug or promote?
AGC: I do have two stories that are “forthcoming” from Stupefying Stories and “Insomnia” (which was originally published @ Daily Science Fiction) will be part of a pod-cast later this summer. The specifics are still being hammered out, but I always post details on my blog (agcarpenter.blogspot.com) and usually Tweet about any publications/sales (@aggy_c)
A.G. Carpenter spends her day herding cats and a lively toddler. By night she writes fiction of (and for) all sorts. Her short stories have been published or are forthcoming from Daily Science Fiction (Insomnia) and Stupefying Stories (The Collections Agent). Her favorite color is black.