Q & A with Our Issue 2 Contributor Vincent Scarpa

1. If you were reviewing your own work, how would you describe its style or point of view?

That'd be like me describing what my eyes look like without looking into a mirror! But I'll try. As far as point of view: I think a lot of my characters are really fucking lonely, and their lives revolve around an absence or separation of some kind. If the story is working, it's trying to examine the way in which these characters lead their lives around that absence. I'm definitely more interested in the person who is left than I am the person who leaves. I guess I'm also interested in ideas of symmetry and disappearance. Mental illness, too, which I think is rarely written well, if at all. As far as style: I'm very much a sentence-by-sentence guy. I'm really obsessed with the rhythm and meter of sentences, with long sentences, with concise and blunt sentences, with punchlines. I labor over each sentence as I'm drafting. If it stays on the page, it usually stays in the story. 

2. Who are some of your favorite contemporary authors?

I could make a very, very long list, but instead I'll give you my trifecta: Joy Williams, Maggie Nelson, Amy Hempel.

3. If you were told you couldn't write anymore, what job would you pursue and why?

Well first of all, I'd be really, really relieved. [An excuse for my procrastination--I'm not allowed!] I'd probably want to be involved in politics in some capacity. I'd like to run a senate campaign. I also really love to drive, so I could probably get down with being a chauffeur. As long as I could smoke. 

4. When you think of Austin, what comes to mind?

Traffuck. [Though, worth it.]

5. Answer the question you wish we had asked.

Eight inches on a good day? God, that's hacky. Um. If you asked what song I can't get out of my head at this moment, I'd tell you it's "Zombie" by the Cranberries. Such an earworm. Every time it's on the radio, I lose my shit.