In our new author series, we’ll be offering a clairvoyant peek behind the veil of who and what makes up TRANSCENDENT. Here’s a glimpse at Clay McLeod Chapman and his story “Coatroom.”
ABOUT THE STORY
What inspired your story?
My wife is going to kill me, but…last Thanksgiving, my mind started to wander at the dinner table a bit and out popped this story.
Did you have to do any research? If so, what kind? What did you learn?
If years of dish duty count as research, then certainly…I have the dish pan hands to prove it.
Can you tell me a little bit about your protagonist?
He certainly means well… but he’s a bit misguided, don’t you think? He seems so sidelined by his life, so afraid, practically emasculated by his own domesticity. He’s a foil here, I think. A sacrifice. I think of this story as a dinner party Wicker Man, and he’s the duped offering.
Tell be about the setting you chose and how it influences your work.
It’d be a stretch to suggest this is my home, but I thought a lot about the Thanksgiving dinners our household has hosted over the years when I wrote this. We’ve entered a new-ish phase of adulthood where we’ve opened our doors to our orphaned friends for dinner. Our evenings tend to end a lot happier than the one in this story, so I’d consider this a worst-case scenario version.
Which phrase are you most proud of in this story?
“Each sleeve writhed about my body, like a bacchanalia in a department store, these jackets manhandling me all over.”
If your story was front-page news, what would the headline be?
Gobble-Gobble: Ditch the Turkey with these Yummy Thanksgiving Dinner Alternatives!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
I bought a pug with my first book advance.
If you had to put your name on someone else’s book/story, which would it be and why?
When did you decide to take writing seriously?
I started really gunning for it in college, submitting short stories to journals and whatnot… But as early as middle school, I was putting the pen to paper. It remains to be seen if writing takes me seriously, though.
If you could choose a single superpower, what would it be and why?
I’ve always been partial to Aquaman, in a weird way…
Clay McLeod Chapman writes books, children’s books, comic books and film.
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