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Smoking With Kim Chinquee

Art by Marty D. Ison
Art by Marty D. Ison
Do most of your stories begin with the first sentence or with an image that you bring to the story?
Most of my stories are inspired by an image, although sometimes that image comes later, as the story is formed. I guess it depends on the length of the story, or the kind of story I'm writing. For me, rarely does a story actually "begin" with the first sentence. "Attic" was inspired by an image, as attic was one of the prompt words. I imagined being in my grandmother's attic, and what it might contain.

What do you want from a story, when you read and when you write?
I want to feel compassion for the characters. I want to cry with them and laugh with them, and for them. I want to experience their joy and their pain.

You also teach creative writing. What are three things you always tell yoru students? Do they listen?
Write with heart.

Look at your story from every characters' perspective. Know your characters. Are you being honest and objective and fair to each character?


I think they listen. I hope so.

What is your favorite, and least favorite, part of the whole writing process?
My favorite part is learning. Learning more about myself and about other people, and trying to understand, learning and trying to be as honest as possible.

My least favorite part is the pain involved in doing that.

Read Attic.
Issue Five (August 15, 2004): Lovers by Karen Simpson Nikakis «» Shore by Susan Henderson «» Lovechild by Ellen Parker «» Lipstick by Claudia Smith «» Back Home by Bob Arter «» Gloves by Gary Cadwallader «» Gilda by Patricia Parkinson «» Attic by Kim Chinquee «» The Radioactive Chicken or the Egg? by Randall Brown «» Summer Swim by Pia Z. Ehrhardt «» Two Benches by Pasha Malla «» Fall by Richard Hulse «» Drop by Roy Kesey «» Galveston by Steven Gullion «» Every Pane of Weathered Glass by Ellen M. Rhudy «» I Can't Talk About Butter Because Margarine Is All I Know by C.R. Park «» Something of Value by Brian Reynolds «» The Therapist Told Her Not to Stop Smoking–Right Now by Astrid Schott «» Maintenance by Miriam N. Kotzin «» Enough by Katrina Denza «» Interviews: Karen Simpson Nikakis «» Susan Henderson «» Ellen Parker «» Claudia Smith «» Bob Arter «» Gary Cadwallader «» Patricia Parkinson «» Kim Chinquee «» Randall Brown «» Pia Z. Ehrhardt «» Pasha Malla «» Richard Hulse «» Roy Kesey «» Steven Gullion «» Ellen M. Rhudy «» C.R. Park «» Brian Reynolds «» Astrid Schott «» Miriam N. Kotzin «» Katrina Denza «» Cover Art "A Character in Short Fiction" by Marty D. Ison «» Letter From the Editor
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