The Write Stuff is a series of interview profiles conducted by Litseen, where authors give exclusive readings from their work.
Sherril Jaffe would like to be writing novels but more often finds herself moving in the direction of the short story. Her last novel, Expiration Date, came out in 2011, and her latest collection of stories and 10th book, You Are Not Alone and Other Stories (winner of the Spokane Award for Short Fiction), in 2013. Her first book of short stories -- some as short as a line -- entitled Scars Make Your Body More Interesting, was written to be read to poets, and still can be. She is the winner of the Josephine Miles Award for Literary Excellence, a PEN Award, as well as a MacDowell fellowship. A Professor of Creative and Literature at Sonoma State University, she lives and writes in San Francisco.
When people ask what do you do, you tell them... ?
I'm a fiction writer. I write literary fiction, both novels and short stories. Right now, I'm working on short stories, though I'd like to be writing a novel, because it is the more optimistic form. Because I'm writing stories right now, I can tell I am not in the most optimistic space, but that's okay, because the privilege of being able to craft stories is a huge compensation. Because I publish mainly with independent presses, I do not earn my living directly from my writing but by teaching fiction writing -- as a professor at Sonoma State University. It is summer now, and I am able to write every day and also to walk, with ample time left over to try to get into a little trouble, which is important for me to do, as art needs life.More »