Theodora Bishop, an Inprint C. Glenn Cambor Fellow, is a woman of many talents. In addition to being the author of a chapbook of short stories, Mother Tongues, winner of The Cupboard’s 2015 contest, she was a Best New Poets nominee and her work has appeared in such well-known journals as Glimmer Train, Prairie Schooner, Arts & Letters, and Short Fiction (England). She is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Houston’s Creative Writing Program, and her latest publication, On the Rocks (Texas Review Press) came out earlier this year. I caught up with Theodora to talk to her about the new book and her writing process, among other things, and here’s what she had to say.
MATTHEW KRAJNIAK: Your novella, On the Rocks, won a 2018 Next Generation Indie Book Award. What was that like and what’s different with you and your writing now that this book is out?
THEODORA BISHOP: My husband and I were about ten hours into our drive from Texas to Pennsylvania when I received the news. I thought it was a mistake at first — I’m fairly certain we were listening to a book on CD and mowing down licorice; I was in a whimsical headspace. I was delighted when it turned out it wasn’t a mistake, and doubly delighted that On the Rocks was recognized as a novella. I think the novella is an important narrative form, and one which I relish reading, studying, and working in.Eva (the protagonist in On the Rocks) feels like an old friend, so I’ve enjoyed working on new fiction that feature similarly-minded characters who feel like they could be pals with Eva, if the novella’s universe of Ship Bottom were to slip into theirs. A great thing about the book being out is that I don’t touch the manuscript anymore; there’s been a place cleared in the cupboard, so to speak, and I’m happily immersed in new material. Continue reading