Each week, the editors of Jenny Magazine sit down with either fellow literary magazine editors or past Jenny contributors for short interviews. This week’s interview is with R.F. Grant, a past contributor of Jenny Magazine.
Describe your first publication. Where was it, when, and what was the piece about? How old were you at the time and how did it feel?
“For Fear of Being” was my first accepted piece. I received the acceptance email on Halloween night, 2012. I was 23 years of age. I would describe it as a bit Through the Looking Glass. I don’t really write anything like that anymore.
What inspired your piece in the Jenny?
Two things inspired “Mariam & the Isle.” One was my hospitalization in January 2013. I was kept in the intensive care unit for over half a month, had several emergent surgeries, and almost died one night. I had several near-death experiences during that time that became the inspiration. The second was my grandmother Sue’s passing later that same year. My mother claimed her eyes dramatically changed color on her last breath.
What got you into writing?
Spirituality came first. I don’t mean to sound uncanny when I say this. Everyone’s journey is different, whether it be spiritual or not. I don’t think those close to me would consider me New-Agey or religious. But I am deeply spiritual. I write to potentially re-enchant people’s worlds.
What do you like writing the most? Is there a certain style you prefer?
Literary-grade, magical realist fiction.
What are your influences? Who are your favorite writers?
Gabriel Garcia Marquez, C. S. Lewis, Salman Rushdie, Khaled Hosseini, to name the big ones. I have an affection for Paulo Coelho’s older work.
What’s your proudest moment as an author?
Being a Top 10 Finalist in the 2014 TIFERET: A Journal of Spiritual Literature’s International Writing Contest.
How has your writing developed over time?
I believe I’ve taken tremendous leaps in the craft over the past year, and am waiting on several pieces to be accepted that reflect this. I believe every budding writer constantly attempts to simplify their craft while still remaining profound. This is the struggle. Be profound in your writing. Simplify and clarify with your editing.
Are you currently working on anything?
Yes. I’m waiting on my short story “The 9th” to be accepted or rejected, and am chipping away on a novel this summer due to a majority of literary journals having their submissions frozen.
What’s your writing process?
Mornings and late nights. At times, I’ll wake up in the middle of the night to write — something shakes me awake to do so. My crutch, however, is the inability to write or edit with anyone else around me. In the past, this has given the impression that I don’t work hard. In reality, I probably devote around 4 or 5 hours a day on average to the craft.
What are you currently reading?
Tinkers by Paul Harding. I just finished Biocentrism by Robert Lanza MD and Several Short Sentences About Writing by Verlyn Klinkenborg.
Have you ever co-written something with another author? If so, what was that experience like?
I haven’t. It would probably be a very rewarding (or frustrating) experience, I imagine.
Have you ever worked with a medium other than writing? Or collaborated with someone in another medium with your writing?
I haven’t, though I am extremely interested in where modern music is going. Music which stretches the limits of midi, for example. An album that’s been inspiring me lately is “There I Lay & Time Imperfections” by Causeyoufair. Certain genres of music have a powerful impact on the mind and its capabilities. I can ascribe a majority of the visions I’ve had for writing through specific genres of music.
Are you a past Jenny contributor or an editor at a literary magazine and interested in an interview? Send us an email.