Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Interview with Gary Soto

(Poet, short story writer, novelist, and playwright Gary Soto.)

Interviewing, dangerously, is starting to become my favorite part of my job. I don't have to sit around for hours waiting for creativity to strike; I just have to research and write a list of questions. In fact, writing a Q&A (my paper's preferred form of interviews) involves very little writing at all. It's mostly just editing -- cutting and rearranging a transcript.

One thing I love about interviewing is that we freelance writers don't always get a lot of opportunity to, well, be around other people. Or even talk to them. So it's refreshing to get to sit down with an artist and ask him or her probing questions.

I was proud of this interview of Gary Soto, whose In and Out of Shadows is now at the Marsh, because, in contrast to my last interview, I was alert enough in the moment to press my subject on a comment that needed pressing.

I always tell my students that interviewing does not come naturally to me, that I was surprised to discover that my paper seemed to think that, because I'm a critic, I must also be a journalist. That certainly wasn't true at first, but now I think I'm slowly becoming one.

In and Out of Shadows continues through Feb. 17; info here.

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