A brief conversation with author Ea Anderson. Read Things of No Particular Value in Issue One, and Six Months Living in a Flat in an Up-and-Coming Neighborhood in Issue Zero, of L’Esprit Literary Review.
L’Esprit Literary Review: How did your piece come to be and what do you want our readers to know about your work? Is there any context you would like to provide?
Ea Anderson: I have moved a lot in my life and am often drawn to writing where the characters are in a situation where they’re kind of misplaced. For instance, where they have just moved house, are going to move or are staying in temporary places, like stories that takes place in hotels. When I wrote this story, I had just moved myself and I guess my mind circled around the feeling of belonging, how? What?, and what home means.
LLR: Your work seems to be largely focused on internal lives of your characters, an emphasis on quotidian reality and introspection. While often there is a central external event that puts the protagonist in contemplative motion, the narrative weight stays inward. Where do you see your writing along this interior-exterior axis, and what draws you to your style and focus?
EA: In general in my writing, but probably even more so in this piece, interior and exterior are very closely linked. I don’t think I write with a strong setting as in specific places and in-depth descriptions of surroundings, but the way the characters perceive the world around them is very closely linked to their frame of mind at the time, and a very big part of the story, even in third person. They are searching for a feeling of belonging, for the feeling of being at home, but they don’t know where or what to look for. It’s almost like the protagonist in Things..,moves in blind, her lost items some kind of pillars to hold on to in her search, and if she just had them again she would feel at home, know her way. Almost like she moves around the world the same way her and her husband moves around the houses he shows her at night; in the dark, with your surroundings only as outlines, indecipherable points to guide you.
LLR: What is your creative process like? Can you speak to the journey of working on this piece?
EA: A lot of the writing with this piece went quite quick and smooth but often at some point in the process of writing a story, I feel, well, now something actually has to happen, if you know what I mean, though I often feel like just continuing the more purely internal. As you pointed out in your previous question, there’s often a central external event. In this story, I kind of came to a halt just before they start going to the houses at night. Then an idea pops up, or it really feels more like my hand and my pens knows, gets an idea, and the process starts up again and becomes clear.
LLR: What was the last book, story, poem, work of art that moved you?
EA: I always find those kinds of questions difficult, there’s so much good and inspiring writing out there. But I funnily enough just read a poetry collection by Kapka Kassabova called Geography For The Lost, and that tittle seems very fitting in relation to this story.
Read Ea’s work Things of No Particular Value in Issue One, and Six Months Living in a Flat in an Up-and-Coming Neighborhood in Issue Zero, of L’Esprit Literary Review.