Leila has chosen a piece by one of the ‘old timers’ to the site. We are pleased to see Adam being featured here and I for one do hope that he answers her second question. This is what she said:
Everyone familiar with Mr. Kluger’s work (and that should be everyone) knows just how delightfully unreliable the POV’s of his protagonists are. These people slip in and out of various realities, which are further embellished and haunted by the equally startling visual imagery, also provided by the author. In short, you can’t glance over items such as The Rise and Fall of Johnny Thunders and form a coherent opinion of it; it requires a much deeper reading than that. And even then you will find that the machinations of the ever-slipping gears in the presented “reality” will affect your sensibilities.
Q: Your works convey a sense of hyper-reality. Is this how you see the world? By such, I mean, when you look at something interesting, do you see it from its atoms on up naturally, or is an active inspection made on your part?
Q: Do you believe in God. or some other power, who knows the patterns shaped by the seemingly random events in the Universe? Or is it just a bunch of stuff that happens?
Q: What creative endeavors have you been up to?
Q: What’s the difference between short stories and flash?
Q: Hold back on what?
A: Hold back on expository stuff. The story. Let the reader work a little. Infer, conclude, ponder.
Q: How do you do that?
A: Non-linear and open-ended storylines. Ambiguous characters. In fact, my forthcoming sequel to “Desperate Times” is going to be titled “Winners & Losers.” The title refers to the dialectic that is on-going in all of us. Conflicting thoughts, impulses, and desires. Life is generally not black and white and neither are people. We are all various hues. Winners & Losers is sort of a double entendre. The characters in the stories vacillate between both categories through the arc of their stories. It’s really up to the reader to determine the true nature of each character as they face various conflicts and make various decisions that determine how things play out. But even then I really like to leave things open-ended because life is like that and fortune can always change on a dime. It’s a glass half full or empty situation. Like Dorian Gray, the stories and characters can change up on you on a second read. A lot of the motivations, conflicts, and resolutions are open to interpretation. My hope is that the stories will provide resonance and entertainment value.
Q: There is definitely some a dark humor to the work
A: Thanks. I try to create a roller-coaster. I think readers deserve to be entertained. Stories should do that. There should be a combination of a couple of things at work in my opinion. Real emotion. Honesty. Humor and an appreciation of the ironic and absurd nature of things. The writing should be crisp and that’s where “less is more” is a valuable tool, or as Ernie would say best, ‘All writers need a failsafe bullshit detector.”
Q: How do you do that?
A: I don’t always. Sometimes you’ll put out a clunker. Others might like it for various reason but writers know. If the writer doesn’t connect with his words, chances are neither will his audience. You have to hear your own voice as a writer and that needs to evolve constantly. I try to read as many of the great writers as possible and if necessary, re-read and re-read them. Hemingway, Bukowski, Conrad, Fitzgerald, Dostoyevsky, Melville, I mean the list is too long to mention here but the point is these great writers are great teachers and a continual source of inspiration for any aspiring writer. I’ve been a professional writer for over 30 years and I feel like I’ve just now discovered my true voice, and really flash fiction feels like the perfect length to tell a story properly without diluting its power.
Q: You mentioned your writing is like a roller coaster and I noticed the first story in Winners & Losers is entitled, Coney Island.
A: That’s true. That particular story is about the need to find courage when facing the unknown and a whole bunch of other things. I also like to arrange the stories in a collection so that the reader can move from one space or mood to a completely different neighborhood. Unlike the first book, some of these character stories are told over a series of interconnected pieces of flash. Three or four stories focus on a couple, other stories have repeating characters as part of a rogue’s gallery of grotesques. Sherwood Anderson presented various interconnected off-beat characters in Winesburg, Ohio and “Winners & Losers” has a similar sort of feel that some of these characters inhabit a shared universe within the collective unconscious.
Q: What do you mean?