The Write Stuff: Rob Rosen on Falling in Love Repeatedly and Often

The Write Stuff is a series of interview profiles conducted by Litseen, where authors give exclusive readings from their work.

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Ken Blackwell
Rob Rosen, award-winning author of the novels Sparkle: The Queerest Book You'll Ever Love, Divas Las Vegas, Hot Lava, Southern Fried, Queerwolf, Vamp, and Queens of the Apocalypse, and editor of the anthologies Lust in Time, Men of the Manor, and Best Gay Erotica 2015, has had short stories featured in more than 200 anthologies.

When people ask what do you do, you tell them... ?

I'm a writer, I answer, proudly and with a broad smile on my face.

What's your biggest struggle -- work or otherwise?

I have a 9-5 job, and a 5-9 job as well, my writing being the latter. I wish there were more hours in the day to be able to get on paper all the stories swirling around inside my twisted, little brain.

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The Write Stuff: Matthew Zapruder on Language When It Starts to Get Liberated

The Write Stuff is a series of interview profiles conducted by Litseen, where authors give exclusive readings from their work.

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Meghan Dewar
Matthew Zapruder is the author of four collections of poetry, most recently Come On All You Ghosts (Copper Canyon 2010), a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, and Sun Bear (Copper Canyon 2014). An assistant professor in the St. Mary's College of California MFA program and English department, he is also an editor at Wave Books. He lives in Oakland. See him read at City Lights Bookstore on Tuesday, April 15.

When people ask what do you do, you tell them... ?

If in their eyes I detect the usual understandable flicker of disinterest about the conversation, in order to let us both go on our peaceful separate ways, I say "English professor." If for some reason they seem to really want to talk, I will say "poet." More often than not something weird happens after that.

What's your biggest struggle -- work or otherwise?

My own distraction.

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The Write Stuff: SB Stokes on Re-testing Desire Through the Work You Produce

The Write Stuff is a series of interview profiles conducted by Litseen, where authors give exclusive readings from their work.

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Ian Tuttle
SB Stokes' first book of poetry, A History of Broken Love Things, is out now from Punk Hostage Press. He has produced the blog MASS COMMUNICATIONS since 2004 and also can be found on YouTube and Tumblr. He holds a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University and is a founder, event producer and art director for Oakland's free, annual literary event, Beast Crawl, which happens Saturday, July 12 this year.

When people ask what do you do, you tell them... ?

"I'm a bouncer" is my first answer normally, but it depends on the environment and who is asking. If they care about literature or poetry, I'll tell them I write poems and tell them about my book, ask them if they've heard of Beast Crawl. If they're looking for design help, I'll tell them about my editing and designing and art directing skills. Sometimes I'll offer to read them a poem or two, but it really depends on who's asking and where we are at that time.

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The Write Stuff: Shannon Bowen on Taking Charge of Your Story

The Write Stuff is a series of interview profiles conducted by Litseen, where authors give exclusive readings from their work.

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Nathaneal Trimboli
Shannon Bowen is a screenwriter inspired to write strong female characters who (shockingly) have loyal lady friends, because she has been lucky enough to be surrounded by badass women all of her life. You can watch the first two episodes of her web series Cost of Living (about struggling to afford a city that no one can afford) and join the Kickstarter to help film the remaining episodes. She is the co-author of two feature-length scripts, and she analyzes "Downton Abbey" from a funny, feminist, foul-mouthed perspective on her podcast Downton Gabby. Follow all of her crazy adventures on Twitter @LittleLadyBrain

When people ask what do you do, you tell them... ?

I write a fictionalized version of the truth. There are real stories from my life incorporated into each script that I write. Yes, I did accidentally throw away all of my clothes in a dumpster once.

What's your biggest struggle -- work or otherwise?

Balance. Time. Not freaking out about my horoscope.

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The Write Stuff: Will Viharo on Self-Therapy and Throwing Out Notes in Bottles

The Write Stuff is a series of interview profiles conducted by Litseen, where authors give exclusive readings from their work.

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Mike Lano
Will "the Thrill" Viharo is a freelance writer, pulp fiction author, B movie impresario and lounge lizard at large. His novels A Mermaid Drowns in the Midnight Lounge, Chumpy Walnut, Lavender Blonde, Down a Dark Alley, Freaks That Carry Your Luggage Up to the Room, It Came From Hangar 18 (with Scott Fulks), and the entire Vic Valentine, Private Eye series (including Love Stories Are Too Violent For Me, Fate Is My Pimp, Romance Takes a Rain Check, I Lost My Heart in Hollywood, and Diary of a Dick) are now available. Actor Christian Slater is currently developing a film version of Love Stories Are Too Violent For Me. The original "Vic Valentine" cocktail is now being served exclusively at Forbidden Island Tiki Lounge in Alameda, CA.

When people ask what do you do, you tell them... ?

I'm a writer.

What's your biggest struggle -- work or otherwise?

Turning my passion for pulp into a lucrative career. Basically: making money. I have no talent for generating wealth. I'll settle for a steady income.

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The Write Stuff: Daniel Handler and Lisa Brown on the 29 Myths on the Swinster Pharmacy

The Write Stuff is a series of interview profiles conducted by Litseen, where authors give exclusive readings from their work.

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Meredith Heuer
Lemony Snicket (A.K.A. Daniel Handler) had an unusual education and a perplexing youth and now endures a despondent adulthood. His previous accounts and research have been collected and published as books, including those in A Series of Unfortunate Events, 13 Words, and The Composer Is Dead. "Who Could That Be at This Hour?" is the first title in his new, four-volume series, All the Wrong Questions.

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Lisa Brown is the bestselling author and/or illustrator of a growing number of books for children, teens and new parents, including How to Be, The Latke Who Couldn't Stop Screaming, and Baby Mix Me a Drink. Her 3 Panel Book Review cartoon ran in the book section of the San Francisco Chronicle. Lisa lives in San Francisco, California with her son and her husband, who is rumored to be Lemony Snicket.

What's your biggest struggle -- work or otherwise?

LB: Getting up in the morning.

DH: Getting my wife out of bed before 9.

If someone said I want to do what you do, what advice would you have for them?

DH: Get back to work, you.

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The Write Stuff: Lucy Tiven on Courage and Keeping People Connected

The Write Stuff is a series of interview profiles conducted by Litseen, where authors give exclusive readings from their work.

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W.C. Bevan
Lucy Tiven is a first year MFA student at San Francisco State University. Most recently, her poems have appeared in the Scrambler, Metazen, and HTMLgiant. She has a book forthcoming from Plain Wrap and watches the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon every weeknight.

When people ask what do you do, you tell them...?

I usually say I'm a grad student. Which is true.

Sometimes I say poetry, but that can get you in trouble, like they'll try to talk to you about the Beats who I don't really like, or ask what your poems are "about" and you find yourself saying some totally pretentious vague thing and then this creeping self-loathing.

I write articles for the Fanzine too. People think that means like, "a fanzine", something you staple together yourself, but it's a legitimate website. It's very good.

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The Write Stuff: Steven Seidenberg on Not Waiting to Be Hunted to Hide

The Write Stuff is a series of interview profiles conducted by Litseen, where authors give exclusive readings from their work.

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Kevin Killian
Steven Seidenberg is a San Francisco based writer, artist, and photographer. His first book of lyric, philosophical prose, Itch, was released from RAW ArT Press in January 2014. He is the author of three chapbooks of poetry, including Null Set, forthcoming from Spooky Actions Books, and co-editor of the poetry journal pallaksch.pallaksch. His work as an artist and photographer has appeared in solo and group shows in San Francisco, Boston, Reno, and Berlin.

When people ask what do you do, you tell them...?

This and that. Don't wait to be hunted to hide, that's always been my motto.

What's your biggest struggle -- work or otherwise?

The disavowal of initial impressions and self-satisfied antipathies.

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The Write Stuff: Jennifer S. Cheng on Knowing Something Beautiful

The Write Stuff is a series of interview profiles conducted by Litseen, where authors give exclusive readings from their work.

Gary Tsang
Jennifer S. Cheng received her MFA in Nonfiction Writing from the University of Iowa and her BA in English from Brown University. She has a ranking system for her favorite kinds of eggs (crystal, steamed, thousand-year, poached, over-medium, scrambled), and she can be found in the ether at jenniferscheng.com.

What's your biggest struggle -- work or otherwise?

In terms of writing, I struggle, as I'm sure many writers do, with confidence, with being brave, with feeling like I can or should carve out a space in which to exist. I guess that really goes beyond writing. It makes it difficult to chase after things or feel like I deserve them. There is the struggle to give my body authority and ownership.

Do you consider yourself successful? Why?

As I grow older, I am starting to think it's less about legitimizing oneself through some socially constructed notion of success and more about the process of breathing. I recently watched the film Gravity three times because I kept having a strangely emotional, bodily reaction to it, and there are specific reasons for this, but at some point in the film I thought: I just want to hold some earth in my hands. That's really sentimental and cheesy, I don't care. I want to know something beautiful, and maybe that's enough.


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The Write Stuff: David Welper on Saying "I Love You Very Much" 10 Times

The Write Stuff is a series of interview profiles conducted by Litseen, where authors give exclusive readings from their work.

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David Welper has an MA from Wayne State University in Detroit. His work appears in Housefire, Denver Syntax, Louffa Press and more. He has been a featured reader in NYC where he lived for a couple years. He has also lived in Denver, but now lives in the Bay Area where he's keepin' it real, paying the bills by working as a Psych Nurse. His book of poems, Lookbaby, is available on his website as well as Kobo.com, Pegasus Books, McNally Jackson... so go get it!

If someone said I want to do what you do, what advice would you have for them?

Read a wide variety of genres and subjects, experiment, meet people and learn from people, take classes, listen, pay attention to life, keep submitting your work, never stop!

What's wrong with society today?

Being absorbed by technology, which is hindering our ability to communicate in person.


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