Thursday May 23

Stefano-Fiction Karen Stefano’s short fiction has appeared in The South Carolina Review, and Ellipsis. Other pieces are forthcoming in The Santa Fe Literary Review, Iconoclast and PocketPilot.  Her non-fiction book, Before Hitting Send:  Power Writing Skills For Real Estate Agents will be available later this year. She lives in San Diego where she practices law and writes.

Karen Stefano interview with Meg Tuite

Anything you want to share with our readers about the inspiration for this story?

It would probably be wise not to do so.

Do you have a specific writing schedule that you adhere to and/or any tricks that help you, that might useful to our readers?

I would love to say that I write every day, religiously, from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. at which time I go to yoga followed by 4 hours of reading, followed by a sensible dinner, great sex, and an early bed time.  But that would be a lie.  The truth is that I write whenever I can, and usually it just isn't enough.  The one thing I do, however, is set aside every Sunday as MY day.  I don't do anything but write that day and that rule is inviolate.  One day a week is hardly enough but sometimes it's all I get.  Bret Anthony Johnston talks about the necessity for "butt-in-chair" time for any writer and that is a tip that I pass along:  No matter how uninspired you may be feeling on any given day, promise yourself X amount of hours of "butt-in-chair" time and you will accomplish more than you ever expected.
What are you reading at this time?
I am always reading multiple books at one time:  a novel, an anthology, and of course quarterly issues of my favorite literary journals.  Just today I started Louise Erdrich's The Plague of Doves.  I'm also in the middle of Best American Short Stories of 2010.

Name the top two or three most influential writers in your reading life and maybe a note on why.

This is a tough question because so many writers have touched me and therefore deepened my commitment to writing.  Lorrie Moore and Amy Hempel are two of my favorite writers, though I find it difficult to articulate why in a brief space.  Dorothy Allison's work inspires me and I feel a connection to her characters and strong mother-daughter themes.  She has described herself as "a working class storyteller" and my working class background infiltrates most of my writing so I feel that is something that we have in common.

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