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Literary Prestidigitations on Display

15 Questions: An Interview with Wade Stevenson


Author: Wade Stevenson
Bio:  Wade Stevenson was born in New York City in 1945. He now lives in Buffalo, New York with his wife Lori, his daughter, Annawade, and his three dogs, Toshi, Toulou and Daisy.
BlazeVOX books:
A Testament To Love & Other Losses
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The Sphinx Lady Waits For The Minotaur Man (Forthcoming)
15 Questions:
Tell me about your book.
It’s up-close and personal, it’s lyrical and detached, it’s micro and macro, it’s 360 degrees of love, loss and yearning. It’s about the energy of desire, the birth of desire and its loss, like the burning tail of a comet, a fireball glimpsed on the horizon, brought back to the reality of the earth, incarnated in words.
What influenced this book?
Two words: life and love. All that accumulations. All the voyages, the geographies, the readings, the discoveries, both in the wild plains of life and in the safer sanctuary of books.
Where does this book fit into your career as a writer?
Career makes it sound too much like business. There is no career. This book is part of  spiritual evolution, a way of trying to approach the essence of things, to grasp something that cannot be so easily described. It’s a verbal snapshot in time. It celebrates the imagination, as in my first book, “Ice Cream Parlors in Asia.” It celebrates the physical, as in my book, “Beds”. It celebrates love, as In “The Little Book of He and She”.
If you had to convince a friend or colleague to read this book, what might you tell them?
Read the book. Or don’t read the book. But if you’re at all curious, go into the words, go into the images,  let them flow easily through your mind, from above and below, from near and far, ultimately taking you into the world of your own experience, reflected back, a recognition.
Tell me about the last literary reading you attended.
To be frank, poetry readings are usually boring, they  go on too long. But I have a great memory of the event we celebrated with BlazeVOX  Books at the Burchfield-Penney Art Center, and I  especially enjoyed listening to Robin Brox.
When did you realize you were a writer
As soon as I could walk. Maybe before. Writing was my escape from the jail of the family, it was the great path to the world. I’m still on that voyage.
Tell me about your process
At my business, my secretary says I can type faster than she. That’s good, because when I write, my mind goes so fast, my fingers have a hard time catching up. I work late at night, sometimes all night. I like to sit in the darkness with the faithful glow of my laptop and read and then rewrite, often many times, what I have written, and often after considerable intervals. The novel I finished now, “The Sphinx Lady Waits for the Minotaur Man”, was actually written for the first time in the early 1970s.
How do you handle a bad review of your work?
All review are welcome. Any interest  is always appreciated.
What writer would you like to have a drink with and why.
I would like to drink some absinthe with Rimbaud in a Paris café. I’d like to visit Marcel Proust in his cork-lined bedroom and discuss his relationship with Albertine. I’d like to wander around Mexico with Malcolm Lowry.
What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made as a writer?
Not having the courage to continue what I believed in. Not having the courage to always be true to my inner voice.
What’s the worst advice you hear authors give writers?
Go to writing school or take creative writing classes. I believe in teaching yourself. You have to have it in you, you have to be able to nourish your own fire.
What scares you the most?
Dying before I finish what I know I have to do.
Where do you buy your books?
I am always hunting for books, I buy them anywhere I can find them. But I think is great.
What are you reading now.
A novel, “The Flame Throwers”, a novel by Rachel Kushner. The first part about a young woman’s obsession with speed is wonderful. And the language is poetic and precise and always full of surprises.
What is your favorite TV show at the moment?
I rarely watch TV. It doesn’t help me as a writer. Life needs to be consumed raw, not through artificial media.
What do you want the world to know about you?
The best part of me is in my books, those already written, and those to come. To know me, read them.