Five Questions with Kate Jayroe

Sophie Rosenblum: We’re publishing your piece, “Jeep,” in the next issue of NANO Fiction. In this piece you write about the narrator’s dreams, which many writing teachers have advised against. What made you unafraid to write about dreams, and would you advise other writers to try it?

Kate Jayroe: The brevity in form freed me from being afraid to write about dreams. The danger in writing about dreams, to my mind, would be allowing the device or the concept of a dream to do more work than the narrative itself in a short prose work. But here, the brevity of the form ensured that I would be sparing and focused in employing the narrator’s dreams as a propulsive device. Lydia Davis comes to mind as a prominent writer who is unafraid of writing about dreams.

If a writer finds it profitable to their work, then I’d definitely suggest writing about dreams!

SR: What’s the worst piece of writing advice you’ve ever been given? The best?

KJ: I think the worst advice I’ve gotten was still well meaning. It was a suggestion to wait in pursuing school for writing, and instead to live out in the world and gather experience. While this might be best for some, it’s really difficult to truly know what a writer has or has not experienced. The advice felt generalized, and a bit assumptive, though offered with care!

The best advice that I’ve received is to simply continue writing, no matter the circumstances. Writing isn’t just a hobby or a practice, but a part of one’s identity. I’ve been fortunate in working with some excellent writing mentors, and a common theme discussed in these relationships is the importance of accepting failure as not an end, but rather as an encouragement of sorts.

img_0945SR: What does a perfect meal look like?

KJ: A perfect meal looks like: “Lobster Topped Lobster” at Red Lobster. Extra cheddar biscuits, no dessert. With sweet tea to drink.

SR: Where do you find great flash fiction these days? Journals? Websites? Other?

KJ: While I love finding new journals and websites for navigating flash, a lot of times it’s a specific writer that fuels my love of flash fiction. I’ll then want to know that writer’s influences and colleagues. I’ll discover new journals this way, too.

Some great flash writers I’m really digging right now are Meredith Alling, Amelia Grey, and Leesa Cross-Smith.

I’m a huge fan of journals like Word Riot, Hobart, Wig Leaf, the Fanzine, and of course, NANO Fiction!

SR: What can we expect next from Kate Jayroe?

KJ: Next, I’ll be continuing to publish work, and hoping to have a workable manuscript in the next year or two!

Kate Jayroe is from Little Mountain, South Carolina. She works at Powell's City of Books, serves on staff with Sewanee Writers' Conference, and is co-editor-in-chief of Portland Review. Her work can be found in Hobart, Word Riot, Maudlin House, Joyland's Medium, and elsewhere.