Really great to see one of Leila’s stories having a second outing. Thanks so much for this Dave Henson. This is what he said:
There’s a hard part and an easy part when it comes to choosing a favorite Lelia Allison story. The hard part is Leila has written so many excellent stories, how do you choose? The easy part is, you can’t go wrong whichever piece you select. For this Sunday Rerun, I’d like to see Learning to Fall. The narrative is humorous and engaging. The “falling” metaphor is heart-warming and works beautifully. When I first read the story, I wished I could “like” it more than once. Now I can.
Two questions for Leila:
1. How do you manage to get inside your characters’ heads so effectively?
2. Why did you choose to have the main character in this story, told in first person, be a male? (Just curious. The choice works wonderfully.)
Answer 1: Thou art kind. All I can tell you is I become the people I write, even though I am aware that they exist in pages only. There’s trouble there. I cannot “be” someone I do not like or have empathy for. This prevents the creation of non- cardboard antagonists. All my few bad people are presented in mention and from a distance only.
Answer 2: The selection of gender was made from need. In an odd moment of lucidity I found myself wanting to introduce two persons who are made for each other, yet at the same time avoid sentimentality. “Jim and Alice” were inspired by James Thurber’s “Mr. and Mrs. Monroe.” I decided to go with three “he said” pieces and an equal number of “she said”s. Got another one about them on the slab, but it is in the third person.
I treasure all opportunities to talk about myself. For that I most sincerely thank you, our dear Mr. Henson.