Some people make art of the interview process. Chris Kammerud and EG Cosh are two such people.
I first became aware of the Storyological podcast when Chris and EG discussed my story “Pockets” in their sixth episode. I listened out of curiosity, wanting to hear what they’d thought of my work, but was quickly hooked by their adorable dynamic, their laughter, the beautiful meshing of kind thoughtful insights and charming delivery. Their whole podcast is them discussing two stories they’ve recently read and loved, and it’s bite-sized perfection. (They also discussed “Seasons of Glass and Iron” earlier this year.)
I love being introduced to stories I haven’t heard of through their chat, and love hearing their thoughts on stories which I’m familiar. But recently they’ve started adding pocket interviews with authors to their schedule, and I was honoured and delighted to be invited — and made into a sword-wielding fairy!
(My only quibble about the above portrait is not getting to see all of the no doubt SUPER AMAZING BOOTS I am wearing. Alas. I shall imagine them.)
Chris interviewed me at Wiscon earlier this year, at a moment when I was thoroughly worn out with Guest-of-Honour-ing and also frantic with worry over having (briefly!) lost my phone. Within seconds of being in his company, though, I felt relaxed and drawn into a benevolent sort of spell. The result is the most intimate and, to my mind and memory, enchanted interview I’ve had yet. From musings on growing up in Lebanon to the importance of friendship to wondering about axe murder, I thoroughly enjoyed revisiting our conversation.
You can listen to the interview or read a transcript of it here. And here is a tiny taste:
STORYO: Your writing, either prose or poetry, feels very exacting and detailed. How important is sensation to you, in your life and stories?
AMAL: It’s very important. I’m a bit synesthetic so I’ve always associated some senses with other things.
There used to be an orchard near where I lived when I was growing up, and you could go into the orchard and pick apples and then come out and pay for what you picked. But they also sold preserves and stuff like that. And my sister and I called their preserves ‘Apple Sunshine’ because they were just so, so beautiful and this jar was absolutely like a jar of golden afternoon light. And I remember what it tasted like, but what stays in my memory the most is just the sight of it. That association between the way it looked and the fact that we called it light and that when we spread it on toast we felt like we were eating light, you know? That sort of thing.