Saturday, September 1, 2012

Interview With Brandon Shire

One of the best voices in current literature, let alone gay-themed literature, is Brandon Shire. Like Jeff Mann (see my last interview) he is an expert at using the musicality of language to reel in the reader. Plus, he spins a damn good tale.  I had the privilege of chatting with him for the GLBT Bookshelf this month. See more about Brandon and read the entire interview here. Below is a sample of our conversation.

Lichen Craig:  Brandon, it is such a pleasure to get the chance to pick your brain. From when I first picked up The Value of Rain, you struck me not only as an unusual and gifted writer but an unusually passionate person.  I’ve been dying to ask you this: You have said that you write with a pen and paper – some psychological studies have suggested that doing so may allow the writer’s brain to connect more readily with emotion and creativity. Do you believe that?
Brandon Shire: Absolutely. Writing, especially in handwritten form, allows one to go deep into the spaces between the words to that point where the breath lives and drives us. It is within those small spaces that passion exists and where a writer seeks to go to pull that passion from the reader.
My personal conviction in writing is that it is the writer’s responsibility to connect with the reader on a deep emotional level, regardless of genre. I think good writing often reflects that connection.

LC:  In an era when much of gay fiction is given over to vampires, werewolves, and light Harlequinesque romances, you have dared to reach for a social statement in your work. Was turning to writing novels a natural outgrowth of your work with GLBT youth?
BS: Actually it was an outgrowth of my practice of Zen Buddhism. It was through an active listening exercise that I met the men on which The Value of Rain was based. Many of the characters in Rain were based on the stories of real people, what they went through, what they suffered, and how they felt. I did a tremendous amount of listening and very little talking. As you noted, I am a deeply passionate person, so their stories affected me deeply, ultimately all that passion needed an outlet. Rain was the result.

See the entire interview at the OurStory section of the GLBT Bookshelf:

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Lichen, I'm honored. It was great talking with you.


Please keep your comments civil. Thanks!