In Jay Caselberg’s “Victoria,” a newly-downsized office worker goes looking for some cold medicine and finds a new job. When I first started reading this piece, I couldn’t help but see some familiar aspects in the description of the main character–ageing, unsure of how to find a new job in this economy, unsettled at the prospect of supporting a family in the face of the challenge. Read on to learn more about Jay and his work.
Q (Crone Girls Press): What do you write? How long have you been writing? What are your preferred genres and why?
A (Jay Caselberg): I write fiction. Generally it wanders shamelessly across genre boundaries and often blurs them. I’ve been writing for a long time…. I don’t have a preferred genre per se, though I probably write less of what might be called fantasy, and more SF, Horror, and oft excursions into literary. Most of the pieces are, however, tinged with some sort of darkness.
Q: What draws you to the genre of horror/dark fiction? What do you find there that you don’t find anywhere else?
A: All fiction is a reflection of the human condition. Humanity is basically pretty screwed up and also, their heads are full of darkness. It’s nice to be able to ride that.
Q: Of the characters you’ve created, who is your favorite, and why?
A: Billie, Jack Stein’s offsider in the Wyrmhole series. She’s smart as a whip, kick-ass and keeps Jack’s inherent dumbness in check.
Q: What do you find the most challenging about the writing process, and how do you meet that challenge?
A: The way my writing brain works, I cannot proceed with a story until I have a fair idea where it’s going to end. Sometimes that takes a while to happen and I’ll be left with a sentence or a para just hanging there. The solution is to work on something else.
Q: What was the worst writing advice you ever received? The best writing advice?
A: Worst writing advice I ever received was from a writing book, which said that you didn’t have the capacity to write a novel before the age of forty because you didn’t have the life experience. Utter nonsense. The best writing advice? Too many to mention, but, I would strongly recommend King’s On Writing to anyone.
Q: If someone asked you to recommend books/stories similar to what you write, who/what titles would you be giving them? And, why?
A: Oooh. Very hard. Some Poe perhaps, a little Bradbury.
Q: What’s next in your writing journey?
A: Well, I never know when a story is going to bite me. I’m writing a lot of poetry these days. Also playing with the concepts of a couple of new novels. Of course, I’m also working on completing a third novel in a series for another identity of mine.
Jay Caselberg is an Australian author based in Germany via the UK. His work, poetry, short fiction, novels, has appeared in many places worldwide and been translated into several languages. Sometimes he writes as other people.
To read “Victoria” by Jay Caselberg, pick up a copy of Stories We Tell After Midnight 2. And, once you are finished, please think about leaving us a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads. Reviews make our cold, dark little heart so happy…