Matthew Fogarty’s story “The Brinkmans Abroad” appears in Midwestern Gothic Issue 9, out now.
How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing all my life. For a long time, I thought I wanted to be a screenwriter until I realized the limitations of the medium and also that a bunch of people who don’t know what they’re doing get to mess around with your writing. Only in the last few years have I really been writing seriously and I just in the last year have started writing full time.
What’s your connection to the Midwest?
Born and raised. I grew up in Troy, a suburb of Detroit, and went to school at Michigan before moving away to the coasts. Not a day I don’t miss it.
How has the Midwest influenced your writing?
How hasn’t it?
Why do you believe there has never really been a regionalist push for Midwestern writing in the past like there has with the South or even the West Coast?
The same reason they say people from the Midwest don’t speak with accents.
How do you feel about social media to promote your writing, and do you use it?
I’m on Facebook and whatnot. I think it’s a great way to get the word out to a limited audience. I haven’t been able to get into the Twitter. When I’m fortunate enough to get something published, I like to promote the magazine more than myself, and I use Facebook, also, to thank everybody that’s helped out by reading my stuff and putting up with my bullshit along the way. At the same time, I’m friends with a lot of emerging writers on Facebook who are trying just as I am to figure out how to do this writing thing and get work published, and I hope that “promotion” and “gratitude” doesn’t translate as “bragging.”
If I only get one book: The Sun Also Rises—I think I’ve figured out most of how Hemingway does what he does craft-wise, but there’s still about 10% of his work that’s just black magic to me. Beyond that: I’m a big Henry Miller fan; Holy the Firm by Annie Dillard changed my life, as has everything else she’s written; I love Daring Young Man on a Flying Trapeze, the collection of stories by William Saroyan; I don’t know if it’s fashionable now or not, but fuck it I love Jack Kerouac; I had an imaginary love affair with Anais Nin this past summer; it took six years, but I finished Joyce’s Ulysses a couple of years ago — that’s a darn good book; Michael Ondaatje’s The Collected Works of Billy the Kid and Coming Through Slaughter are fantastic; Malcolm Lowry’s Under the Volcano got me into drinking mezcal. There’s poetry I like, too, I suppose.
If you could have coffee (or tea or a beer) with any literary figure, alive or dead, who would it be?
Dead: TS Eliot. Alive: Annie Dillard. Imaginary: Q (from Wonder Boys).