ISSUE 2 VOL 2 PROFILE: Kelli Deeth
HLR: When and where did you write the story published in this issue?
I wrote different parts in different places. I started the story sitting on a bench waiting for a Greyhound bus.
HLR: Was the story inspired by anything in particular?
The first passages I wrote were of a woman, Tamara, in a hotel room. She was teaching out of town, and had to stay overnight in a hotel room (this part of the story is autobiographical). I didn’t really know what the story was, though. I didn’t know what the story was about or anything like that. At around the time I had written those passages, I happened to see a female professor talking to a male student in a corridor of the university where I was teaching. My glance landed on them for no more than a few seconds, but there was something about the way they were interacting that made me tilt my head and think, “Hmmm.” Then the writer in me said, “There’s the story.”
HLR: Do you consider your work to be cross-pollinated by other disciplines?
Not in a conscious way. I love looking at photographs and describing them in words.
HLR: Where is your favourite place to write outside the home?
In a library cubicle—I like feeling enclosed and hidden.
HLR: How does travel affect your writing?
I’ve had the opportunity to travel somewhat, but I have hardly ever written about places I’ve travelled. I have no idea why this would be the case. Where stories come from is mysterious—I don’t think I would ever say, “I’m going to travel somewhere and write about it.” How would I know that the place would exert the kind of psychological pressure that tends to bring the stories I write into being? It might, or it might not.
HLR: How does the Internet and your presence on the Internet affect your thinking and writing?
The Internet has been great for me as writer because it offers so many different forms of expression: Twitter, Tumbler, Wordpress etc. .
HLR: What are you currently reading?
Stoner by John Williams.
Kelly Deeth's most recent collection, The Other Side of Youth, was published by Arsenal Press. Her acclaimed story collection, The Girl Without Anyone, published by HarperCollins, was chosen as one of The Globe and Mail’s Best Books. Her stories appear regularly in literary journals such as Event, The Dalhousie Review, The New Quarterly, Joyland and The Puritan. Kelli holds an MFA in creative writing from The University of British Columbia and teaches creative writing at The University of Toronto. She lives and writes in Toronto.