Jacob Guajardo’s story “The Geese That Stayed North” appears in Midwestern Gothic Issue 13, out now.
(Photo credit: Kirsten Wooster)
How long have you been writing?
The first memory I have of writing involves our first computer and meticulously typing each letter with my pointer fingers. It was a story about a lion man. I was seven.
What’s your connection to the Midwest?
I’m from a very small city located at the geographic center of Michigan. For a long time I had this theory that all roads in Michigan passed through our city, I felt connected to everything. With some research I conducted in fourth grade my hypothesis fell through.
How has the Midwest influenced your writing?
I try to use language specific to the Midwest. I mention the Great Lakes in a lot of my stories, and I do a lot of research about specific locations that appear in my fiction. Typically I set my stories in small towns similar to the one I grew up in. There are lots of those in the Midwest.
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 answer lies in what others expect of us, I think. There’s such rich history associated with the South and the West Coast, the Midwest still feels untouched by most hands.
How do you feel about social media to promote your writing, and do you use it?
I’m all about it, I think it looks a tad obnoxious from time to time but I get really excited when I see my other writer friends post links to their stories or various writing tools they find. I try to use it often, and given my ripe age of 21 I should be a lot better at it.
The Collected Stories of Amy Hempel, these are the stories that changed my sentences.
I’m in love with this burger called The Spicy Leprechaun that they make at a bar in my hometown.
If you could have coffee (or tea or a beer) with any literary figure, alive or dead, who would it be?
I would have a Sex and the City style brunch with Maya Angelou, Margaret Atwood, and Amy Hempel. We would drink Mimosas.