March 12, 2013

Contributor's Notes–Bess Winter

Interviews and guest posts from the writers and artists of Versal 10. This edition features Bess Winter. Bess Winter's fiction has won a Pushcart Prize, and has appeared in American Short Fiction, Bellingham Review, Paper Darts, PANK, and elsewhere. She's the Podcast Editor at The Collagist, and currently lives in Toronto, Canada.

Have you been to Amsterdam? What did you do while you were here? If you've not been yet, what do you think you'd do in our fair town? 

Have not been to Amsterdam yet, but would love to go. Wish I could say I’d do something romantic, but realistically I’d probably fill up on chocolate and beer and fret about the possibility of bedbugs at my hostel. 

What is the first creative thing you ever did?

Honestly, play with dolls. I made paper dolls as a kid. Mostly out of old magazines and vintage book illustrations, which I’d take to Kinko’s, color photocopy, cut out and cover with clear tape like they were laminated. These made up a huge percentage of my toys. And because I was an only child who played alone quite often, I never bothered with making my dolls move or walk around or anything when I played. I just stared at them and made up stories. 

What is the dumbest thing anyone has ever said to you about being a writer?

When you write that bestseller you can support your family.

If you were an angle, what kind of angle would you be?

I failed math in high school. Therefore, I would be a circle.

If you could meet a writer from the 15th, 16th or 17th centuries, who would it be? And what would you talk about?

The Earl of Rochester, pre-syphilis. He was like the Hunter S. Thompson of the 17th century. I’d probably just listen to whatever he had to say, rather than talk.

Tell us something few people know about you.

My online cribbage ranking is Princess. It took me 2 years to get there. Once I hit 1700 points I’ll be a Lady.

Other than Versal (which has clearly been awesome), what's one great place you've been published?

Paper Darts, coming out soon.

Why did you send work to Versal? Be honest. 

I grew up in Canada, so I’m in love with international journals. That was part of it. Also, the fact that you’re not an academic journal appealed to me. That Versal is your brainchild. I love that.

What has lasted you ten years?

A pair of Camper shoes with soles made of tire tread. 

Tell us what you're working on right now.

A collection, and a novel.