May 21, 2013

Contributor's Notes–Luke Andrew Geddes

Interviews and guest posts from the writers and artists of Versal 10. This edition features Luke Geddes. Luke Andrew Geddes's stories have appeared or are forthcoming in Hayden's Ferry Review, Conjunctions, Mid American Review, and other journals. 

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? 

Never been, sadly. If did go to Amsterdam, I’d probably have the Elvis Costello song “New Amsterdam” stuck in my head the whole time, and no matter what I did, I’d board the plane home feeling like I did the wrong things and missed out on all the stuff I should have done. 

What is the first creative thing you ever did?

From a very young age I wanted to be a cartoonist and liked to draw, but I didn’t have the talent or patience for it. Writing is what I do now instead, and although I find it marginally easier and the results better, the process isn’t nearly as fun—is usually not much fun at all, in fact.

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

Pretty much everything my MFA workshop professor/thesis director ever said.

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


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

I’m hoping Chaucer counts (born in the 14th century, died in the 15th) because he tells better dirty jokes than Milton or Donne and probably Shakespeare, too.

Tell us something few people know about you.

When I first found out my book was going to be published, I didn’t tell anyone—not my partner, friends, or closest family—until about ten days or two weeks after I’d gotten the news. The joy and sense of accomplishment I felt when no one knew besides me (and my publisher) was purer than anything I’ve felt since. I loved being able to think about it all that time, knowing no one else knew. Now I’m never totally satisfied with any praise or congratulations I receive about it; it all seems facile, not sincere or glowing or enthusiastic enough. 

I’ve felt this way about a lot of my successes, that, while I want the world to know about my every minor and major achievement, the recognition only ends up cheapening it.

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

Hayden’s Ferry Review was a turning point, and the story they published I considered at the time (and still do in some ways) my very best. Beth Staples, the editor, is awesome.

Why did you send work to Versal? Be honest. 

I felt like “Mom’s Team v. Dad’s Team” was a weird length—longer than a short short but still shorter than my average story—and it seemed like that was just right for Versal. Also, I noticed in Alissa Nutting’s book that one of the stories was published in Versal so I wanted to publish a story here, too.

What has lasted you ten years?

An increasingly unhealthy sense of cynicism and growing mistrust of everyone I meet.

Tell us what you're working on right now.

At this very moment—as I answer this question—I’m working on promoting my book, I Am a Magical Teenage Princess, a short story collection about teenagers, rock ‘n’ roll, cartoons, the 1960s, cavemen, sex, and other things, and about which Publishers Weekly has said, “In a lesser writer’s hands the work would come off as puerile, but Geddes’s sure prose, empathy, pop cultural knowledge, and stoner wit make for a rewarding and unusual collection.” It comes out July 18th and you can go to my website ( to find out more and marvel at the glowing blurbs from such luminaries as Chris Bachelder, Alissa Nutting, and Michael Griffith.

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