In writing fiction, I find one of the greatest responsibilities and challenges I face is capturing the moment of the telling. Yes, there’s the immediate story and its scenes to concern myself with, but it’s also naïve to think of any given moment in isolation.
In “Nicholas,” the flash piece I published with Paper Trains earlier this year, I tell the speculative tale of multiplying children. It’s a flight of fancy in some ways, and I could imagine it being read as a horror story. More than anything, though, I think of it as capturing the essence of what it felt like in my real life to be a new parent, with concerns—real and more absurd—sprouting up with every weird sound or look my newborn son had to offer.
My debut collection of short stories, You Might Forget the Sky Was Ever Blue, includes its own share of stories of the moment, including those that reach beyond personal experience to how broader cultural phenomena can offer more than backdrops, but both chronic and acute tensions to our lives. “Prophecy,” the first story in the book, largely concerns itself with the American experience circa 2015—grappling with social media and a world turned on its head by a contentious presidential election, while still trying to make ends meet and be a good teacher, a good romantic and sexual partner. ”Brother” is more expansive in scope, chronicling nearly thirty years of a devout professional wrestling fan’s life, using the touchstones of Hulk Hogan’s evolution from the biggest hero, to its starkest villain, to the source of real-life, mainstream controversy after a tape caught him using racial epithets.
I find that my fiction is most successful when it most successfully captures the multitudes contained in any given moment, and it’s something aspire to in every drafting and revision process.
About the Author Michael Chin was born and raised in Utica, New York and currently lives in Las Vegas with his wife and son. He has three full-length short story collections on the way: You Might Forget the Sky was Ever Blue from Duck Lake Books (available for pre-order direct from the publisher: http://catalog.ducklakebooks.com/p/you-might-forget-sky-was-ever-blue.html or via Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/You-Might-Forget-Ever-Blue/dp/1943900167), Circus Folk from Hoot ‘n’ Waddle, and The Long Way Home from Cowboy Jamboree Press. He has also published three chapbooks: Autopsy and EverythingAfter with TheFlorida Review, Distance Traveled with Bent Window Books, and The Leo Burke Finish with Gimmick Press. Find him online at miketchin.com and follow him on Twitter @miketchin.