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 Katie Stears, 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?
My first publication ever was with Penguin Review! My first paid publication was a crossword puzzle for the LA Times.
What inspired your piece in the Jenny?
My poem “Morning Commute” was actually inspired by my morning commute to school every day. I pass by a bunch of run-down houses and an old steel mill. In a sad way, my neighborhood reminds me of a disaster area. Everything is somehow both messy and empty.
What got you into writing?
I always get interrupted or talked over when I try to say something. You can’t interrupt words on a page.
What do you like writing the most? Is there a certain style you prefer?
Academic or professional writing can sometimes be a fun challenge, but I sort of prefer personal writing. I think some of my best work is probably in my diary.
What are your influences? Who are your favorite writers?
Harper Lee is my favorite writer, but I’m not sure what influences me. I try to steal a little bit from everybody.
What’s your proudest moment as an author?
Seeing my name in print…on a check.
How has your writing developed over time?
My writing has gotten a lot cleaner over time.
Are you currently working on anything?
What’s your writing process?
I tend to write in big bursts filled with long periods of idle time researching or thinking about what I’m writing.
What are you currently reading?
I was reading The Earth’s Children series by Jean Auel, but I’m taking a break to re-read The Handmaid’s Tale by Margarat Atwood.
Have you ever co-written something with another author? If so, what was that experience like?
I make crossword puzzles with my mom sometimes! She’s a professional writer and crossword puzzle constructor. Other than that, no, I’ve never really collaborated before.
Have you ever worked with a medium other than writing? Or collaborated with someone in another medium with your writing?
I am capable of some visual art, but it’s not something I do much these days.
Are you a past Jenny contributor or an editor at a literary magazine and interested in an interview? Send us an email.