When people ask me what I do, I tell them I’m a writer, which is pretty straight-forward. But when they ask me what I write, the answer tends to sprawl. Short stories and flash fiction. Essays and criticism. Articles and book reviews…. I love short form fiction and long form essays. The subject tends to dictate the shape a thing takes.
As for what I write about, that answer sprawls too. I earned my MA in Comparative Literature, which ended up influencing both my taste in fiction and how I write. I also earned a master’s in library science, which opened my mind in a bucket of interesting ways. I like to let elements of one genre bleed into another, so that quirkiness, horror, psychology and reality bump into each other like people on a train.
As Malin James, I wrote stories and essays that focused primarily on sex and sexuality. It was an excellent experience, but, like I said, my work tends to sprawl. I’ve spent close to fifteen years writing about feminism, books, sexuality, trauma and mental health, fairy tales, history and random moments in culture, which is why I’ve decided to embrace the sprawl and write exclusively in my own name moving forward.
My fiction runs the gamut from “delicately weird” to what someone once called “ouchy and raw”. Despite the sprawl, one thing spans everything I write – a desire to explore humanity through lots of different humans. Emotions, culture, personal perception…they’re mirrors into dark and private places. They obscure or illuminate, depending on how you look at them and that is inevitably dictated by the world we live in.
If you want to get a sense of what I do and how I think, an essay I wrote for Electric Literature, “Me, My Anger and Jessica Jones”, is a good place to start. So is the short story, “Lunch withe Zelda”, which was featured in Queen Mob’s Tea House.
You can find a complete list of stories and essays, written as both Malin James and as myself, in the menu bar. That’s where you’ll also find information about my collection of linked short stories, Roadhouse Blues. As for off-the-cuff opinions on books and pretty much everything else, I don’t post often, but when I do, I try to make it quality.
Here are some of the things that interest me in no particular order:
Books, Perception, Culture, Psychology, Coping Mechanisms, Dissociative Disorders, Feminism in the 20th and 21st century, Gender, Religion, Atheism, Spirituality, Buddhism, Witchcraft, Books (again), Media, Parenting, Sexuality, Writing, Ethics, Morality, Sociopathy, Empathy, Power Dynamics, Control, Deviance, Virginity, the Gothic Novel, Femininity, Masculinity, the 19th century, Performative Identity, Personal Identity, Adaptation, Relationships, Justice, Existential Quandaries, Other Minds, Personal Responsibility, Cultural Analysis, Beauty, Knitting, Literary Criticism, Food, TV, Movies, Gardening, San Francisco, New York, Hollywood, London, Motherhood, Fairy Tales, Ghost Stories, Truth, Lies, Gray Areas, Fiction, Essays, Integrity, Recovery, Duality, Art, Photography, Books (again, again).
This isn’t a complete list because the world is a big and interesting place. There’s always room for more.