HIBF Reader Spotlight: Sophie Rosenblum

Pamela Buszek interviews NANO Fiction editor Sophie Rosenblum for the Houston Indie Book Festival:

bookfestlogosqareHIBF: What piece are you planning on reading for HIBF?

SR: I am planning on reading a selection of flash fiction. These will be pieces varying in style, but most of them will be under 300 words. I have been instructed to leave out any NC-17 material because of kids who may wander into the audience. I will do my best to keep things PG.

HIBF: Who would you say has influenced your writing the most?

SR: Edward Mullany was one of the first writers I saw move from short stories to flash fiction. His sense of independence has always inspired me. Also, I’ve been greatly influenced by R&B music and movie parodies because both of those genres push things to extremes. In my own work, I write by seeing how much I can change the tone within a story, a paragraph, a sentence. That’s one reason I keep coming back to flash fiction—it lets me focus in on the moment that is the crux of decision-making. I like to be in that moment when things change.

HIBF: Who are some of your favorite authors?

SR: Some of my favorite authors include Binnie Kirshenbaum (sense of place), Samar Fitzgerald (dysfunctional functioning characters), Grace Paley (syntax), Emma Straub (pacing), Sam Lipsyte (dark humor), Kathy Fish (what’s not to like?), and Julia Slavin (ability to risk sentimentality).

HIBF: What first got you interested in writing?

SR: I started writing at fourteen. I loved that writing let me show the world as I saw it: filled with awkward moments and unspoken needs. I initially wrote because I could say what was happening beneath things or words or worlds.

HIBF: Are you working on anything new?

SR: Yes, I’m polishing my collection of flash fiction and finishing the third draft of my novel.

The Houston Indie Book Festival (HIBF) is hosted by NANO Fiction and Gulf Coast through a collaboration with The Menil Community Arts Festival, and the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses at Menil Park. The 2011 festival will be on Saturday, April 2, 2011 from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.. The event is completely free and open to the public and remains the only one of its kind in the Houston and Austin areas.