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Interview: Robert Scotellaro on his new book, What Are the Chances?

Interview

Flash Frontier: What is at the heart of this new collection? Does the cover give away the contents – or is it meant to keep us guessing?

Robert Scotellaro: With this new collection I was intrigued with the notion of how life can, mercurially, unfold: good luck/bad luck – timing – as depicted in the title story, What Are the Chances? The cover is a portal into that aspect of the collection, but so much more is explored about how we struggle, strive to, or overcome that Sisyphean challenge that is so much a part of our personal and collective living.

FF: What has changed in your writing — looking back over the years to your earliest piece of flash fiction. Could you share an earlier piece of flash, and do a little comparative scan?

RS: Here is a story from my first flash collection originally published well over ten years ago, entitled “Fun House.” It deals with the adventurous afterlife, if you will, that a couple (parents) explore after their adult children move out and the house is (their lives are) their own again, unfettered.

I think my current work is more philosophical and perhaps possesses a more poetic sensibility, universality. And of course, one always hopes one’s many years of writing garners a stronger hand toward craft. Here is a story (a triptych) recently published in New World Writing, Three Entries from a Somnambulist’s Dictionary.

FF:What are you reading now? Is the next book already in the works?

RS: I’m reading a great many anthologies of flash and micro fiction: The Best Small Fictions, Best Microfiction, Bending Genres Anthology, and a stack of personal story collections: A Girl Goes Into the Forest by Peg Alford Pursell, The Father of Octopus Wrestling by Frankie McMillan, Resistance Is a Blue Spanish Guitar (poetry) by George Wallace…

I’ve just completed a manuscript of stories in triptych that I’ll be sending out soon. I truly enjoyed the challenge of writing an entire collection of stories in linked segments. It’s a wonderful form. I’m also working on a group of short pieces in postscript. Both are flash collections. I am currently devoted to experimenting with ‘form’ within the flash genre. It’s an exciting time.


About the book

Find What are the chances? at the Press 53 website.

For testimonials, reviews, and more information on where to buy What Are the Chances?, see Robert’s website.

Robert Scotellaro has been published widely in national and international books, journals, and anthologies including W.W. Norton’s Flash Fiction International, The Best Small Fictions 2016, NANO Fiction, Gargoyle, The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts and others. He is the author of seven literary chapbooks, several books for children and the full-length story collections Measuring the Distance, What We Know So Far (winner of the 2015 Blue Light Book Award), Nothing Is Ever One Thing and Bad Motel. He co-edited the 2018 W. W. Norton anthology, New Micro: Exceptionally Short Fiction. Here at Flash Frontier, he was the editor of the 2016 NFFD Micro Madness series. Robert lives with his wife and daughter in San Francisco. Visit him at https://robertscotellaro.com/

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