Contributor Q+A with Robert Long Foreman


Robert Long Foreman’s story, “Search for Supple Buns,” appears in Issue 16 of Sundog Lit. Robert is a Pushcart Prize winner with work in Crazyhorse, Agni, Harvard Review, Kenyon Review Online, and elsewhere. His new short story collection, I Am Here To Make Friends, is available for purchase now. You can also snag a copy of his novel, Weird Pig, here.  

Tell us a little about your writing process (from the first word to the last edit).
Lately I’ve been writing short stories in one sitting, on the front and back of one sheet of paper, using a typewriter. I hang that sheet of paper on an old-timey fridge that came with my house, in the basement. Then, eventually, when I have a stretch of a couple of hours to myself, which is rare, because I have kids and have to work for money and stuff, I take that sheet of paper down and retype it into the computer. I expand on it, usually, so it’s a more complete story, but not by much. It keeps me going.

When I write other things it takes a lot longer and it’s hard to describe that process. But I like the fridge magnet thing because I always have at least a couple of stories hanging there, and one in two of those stories actually turns into something remotely publishable. Even when they don’t, they’re fun to work on. The stakes are low. So as much as my daily life takes me away from writing, I am reassured that over there on the other side of the room are some good things waiting for me to work on them.

What is something you’re fascinated with at the moment?
I got a slingshot, and that’s been ruling my world.

Describe the last thing you read in five words.
Mr. Darcy’s not that bad.

Is there a place that has inspired your writing? If so, where is it and what about it made for good material?
Yes, on the Kansas side of Kansas City, there’s this old-ish neighborhood (for Kansas City) where the backyards of all the houses stretch back like a quarter-mile. We looked at one of the houses when we moved here and I was just nuts about all the things you could do with a yard like that, before I got daunted by what the upkeep would have to be and got over it. I started writing a post-apocalyptic story about people moving in there after a plague, and what they do with the different yards of their reclaimed houses reflecting who they were, but it kind of stalled out. Maybe I’ll finish the story eventually, but probably not. It’s fine.

Coffee, tea, or neither?

Physical books or e-books?
Physical books

What are you working on now?
I’m writing a novel called Eat the Rich, about four women who drive around in a van killing and eating people who live in big houses. It might be done soon, but I said that six months ago.

Any recommendations for readers, i.e. books, movies, television, art, anything under the sun?
Alfred Bester’s The Stars My Destination is a great, great novel. I tell everyone to watch the TV show Harlots but no one listens.

Keep up with Robert by checking out his website, or following on Twitter: @RobertLong4man. You can also read more great work from Issue 16 by clicking here. Until next time!