Over the next few weeks, we’ll be pulling back the curtain and revealing this year’s editorial staff because, hey, sometimes it’s nice for them not to be behind-the-scenes. Maybe you’ll get some cool reading recommendations, or maybe you’ll pick up on some ideas for your next submission. Either way, we hope you enjoy meeting the people who help put our lovely magazine together.
This week, we sat down with Angie Dell, one of our prose editors, and asked her about reading, writing and zombies.
Hayden’s Ferry Review: What are you reading currently (outside of HFR submissions)?
Angie Dell: Right now my spring fever is in full swing, and I keep starting books and rotating between them every ten pages or so: mainly Double Vision by Walter Abish, Tinkers by Paul Harding, and Access by Xu Xi. Also, thanks to the unexpected Kindle I got for Christmas, I’ve finally gotten around to some of the classics that have been plaguing me: The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy by Lawrence Sterne, Middlemarch by George Elliot, and as much Chekhov as I can get my hands on. I’m also enjoying The Atlas of American Artisan Cheese by Jeffrey P. Roberts.
HFR: What are you writing right now?
AD: I’m writing a story about a person with chronic fatigue syndrome who works dusting plants in an office building and is navigating the world of blind dating. Take that as you will.
HFR: Weirdest thing that’s influencing your writing currently?
AD: My crippling fear of blind dating. How do people do it?!
HFR: What kinds of things do you like to see turn up in the submission queue?
AD: I don’t want to discourage any piece of brilliant writing, but I’ll admit I’m generally in the mood for trim, opinionated prose. Don’t rely too heavily on plot, which can take pages to develop—make your prose have its own distinct point of view and I’ll be hooked from page one.
HFR: What kinds of things would you like to see more of?
AD: More stories about plumbing, mollusks, and the tundra. Fewer stories about baking, chickens, and the desert.
HFR: If a zombie plague was causing writers to rise from the grave and submit their work to Hayden’s Ferry Review, which zombie writer’s work would you be most interested in seeing?
AD: Zombie Mary Shelley. She wrote brilliantly about death and reanimation while she was still alive, so I can only imagine what a zombie Mary Shelley would be capable of.
HFR: If you had to tell a story in a way that’s never been done, how would you do it?
AD: Yeesh. If I had to answer this question I’d say something like “a story from the perspective of the iceberg that sunk the Titanic, but in the movie version, not the real life version, with all the over-the-top heroics.” Has it been done?
Angie Dell is a Prose Editor for Hayden’s Ferry Review and a second-year MFA student in Fiction at Arizona State University. Her outside interests include traveling, bookmaking, going to the movies, and teaching her cat to do dog things. She collects used books, dying plants, scraps of paper, little glass bottles with stoppers, and airline credit cards. During bouts of writer's block, she is either A) nostalgic about her childhood ambition to become Jane Goodall, B) starting various Rosetta Stone language courses, or C) napping in a sunspot with a tape recorder in hand, in case creativity strikes.