Saturday, September 12, 2015

Jennifer Pashley

Jennifer Pashley's new novel is The Scamp.

From her Q & A with Barrett Bowlin for Fiction Writers Review:

Barrett Bowlin: Since we’re drinking, let’s start off with that. Alcohol figures prominently in The Scamp, both as a way to make characters more comfortable and with allowing them to make mistakes. How would you say alcohol figures into your short stories and your novel as a plot device?

Jennifer Pashley: It’s not purposeful. It ended up becoming part of the plot in The Scamp, especially where it figures into Rayelle’s past. But it’s one of the things that I often find is present in conversations. For example, I’ve also had a lot of characters who were smokers and who have gone through a lot of cigarettes. There’s something very social and meditative about both acts. Sitting and drinking with somebody is a good device for getting into further conversation. It’s the same thing with a cigarette: it’s an interruption and it’s a pacifier at the same time.

You’ve had down-on-their-luck, sad-story girls a lot in your stories before, but this was the first time I’d seen someone as slick and ragged as Khaki, our serial killer, pop up in your work. What was the invention of Khaki like? How did she come about?

She was always the “other” character in the book, even after five significant drafts. Her violent tendencies weren’t as specific in earlier drafts—they were a little bit different—but I’ve started to see her as someone who had a really deranged motive. She wasn’t just a zero in the sense of doing drugs or stealing from people. Beyond that, she had a savior complex. She knew what her actions were and what she was doing, but there was a terrible irony in calling herself a “safe house.” It’s a particularly grandiose and deranged idea that she has. But once I started to explore the bigger elements of Khaki, she...[read on]
Visit Jennifer Pashley's website.

--Marshal Zeringue