Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Rebel Steve Hansen

Steve Hansen is a renaissance man when it comes to words. He's accomplished with short stories, book reviews, interviews (ahem), and he's also the editor of a very fine and unique lit magazine.

For a sampling of some of his fiction work, you can find him in some of the best 'zines on the web: Frigg, Paumanok Review, Danforth Review.

Sometimes quirky, his stories develop through the characters and often take unexpected, but wholly plausible turns where he often plumbs the depths of suburban hysteria, both comic and tragic.

Steve's story "Psychoanalysis" is featured in Rebellion: New Voices of Fiction, the 2006 USA Book Awards Finalist.

Also? Steve's a really cool guy.

Meet Steve.

1) Who are some of your favorite writers, and how do you think they've influenced you?

I owe a debt to Thomas Wolfe's great novel "Look Homeward, Angel" for getting me off of Fantasy series' reading and into some of the great lit of the 20th century. After LHA, I devoured all of Wolfe's other novels and then started in on many of the other so-called Lost Generation writers: Hemingway, Fitzgerald among others.

2) What do you think is your greatest strength or asset in your writing? Your biggest weakness or flaw?

My greatest strength used to be not giving into apathy, but lately I've not been doing much writing, so...

3) Your story in Rebellion is called "Psychoanalysis." I think I recognize some of the characters in this story from other works of yours. Are you working on a collection of linked stories?

Yes. It's pretty much complete and I should be shopping it around to some publishers, but ... [see answer to Q2].

4) When did you first get the feeling not that you wanted to write, but that you could be so successful at it? What are you working on now?

I've had the feeling that I could be successful at writing here and there over the past 20 years, but nothing lasting. Sustaining your discipline throughout a lifetime gets harder as your responsibilities elsewhere increase. I'm not working on anything currently. Writing is not for sissies, and right now I am a sissy.

5) Your alterego, Theodore Q. Rorschalk, is the founder and editor of a cutting edge, interactive lit 'zine, TQR. What was your inspiration for creating the 'zine? Does reading/editing others' stories help with your own writing, or does it eat up all your time?

I started TQRstories cuz it seemed to me most of the e-zines out there had more or less print mentalities and were not using the immediacy and intimacy of the Web to their advantage. I thought, why does the editorial process still need to remain behind a veil? Wouldn't it be fun and instructive to expose it to the public? So, that's TQR.

Seeing the great work done by others is actually very inspiring and would (and has been in the past) a great motivator for my own work. The e-zine doesn't eat up too much time, really. I'm thankful for it.

6) Stock question: Dinner with anyone, dead or alive. Who is it?

Hmmmm. I guess it would be my grandfather (who the short story cycle is centered around). I'd like to go to Louie's on the tip of San Francisco with him again and order a big fat tuna sandwich and look out over the ocean and dream.

7) One CD, one book, one DVD and a desert island. What book, CD, and DVD do you take?

Well, how about Abbey Road for music, The Bible for reading, with apocrypha attached, but minus Revelations (too frightening and obscure), and for the DVD ... how about Sexy Beast cuz that dude in it who won the oscar for playing Ghandi (can't remember his name now, Ben Kingsley?) plays an unforgettable gangster.

8) Other than fiction writing, what's the biggest lie you ever told?

There have been so many ... I can't really pin one down.

9) Suppose you can't have both: Would you rather have respect from your peers and critical acclaim (but not making cash from writing), or would you rather be a bestselling author with the fat coin?

Well, since I have a minuscule bit of the first and found it lacking, next time around I'd opt for selection number 2.

Rebellion: New Voices of Fiction now available from Rebel Press, or Amazon.


Anonymous said...

Hey, nice to see Steve as interviewee! Great stuff here.

Don_Cap said...

I can't believe you chose the bible over "Rebellion."

Good interview, guys!

Steve Hansen said...

Thanks for posting this Susan. It was fun.

Katrina Denza said...

Great interview!