Lambda Literary Award winner, Trebor Healey’s third book, Eros & Dust, is a collection of short stories with an unforgettable cast of characters including a meth-addled youth bent on redemption by returning to New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and a circus clown fleeing his Mexican trapeze artist lover by escaping to Argentina.
INDULGE: What inspired you to write this book?
TREBOR: I was inspired by my time in Latin America where I was reading only Latin American fiction, which favors the short story form and a broader more imagination-centered viewpoint. Writers like Borges, Arredondo, Rulfo, Cortazar, Pitol, Bolano of course. It was a chance to both explore a lot of different themes and settings and to delve deeper into the short story form, which I find really compelling of late. It’s limits push me to hone in on character development, and establish conflict quickly and colorfully. I find I can ride the plot like a bronco and let it take me where it needs to go. And then I climb back on and write the next one.
INDULGE: What’s your writing process/ritual?
TREBOR: I’m living in Mexico City and this is the perfect place for me to write. This amazing confluence of the sacred and the profane, and something that pulls me into my imagination quickly. I get up, head out for a big breakfast, drink some coffee and head back to write for 3 or 4 hours. I do my other for money work in the afternoon/eve as I can get by working part time while here. Usually, I take an evening walk in the colorful crowded streets and take weekend adventures, picking up new material and reviewing what I’ve worked on. As long as I can make this kind of time and am in a place that is constantly suggesting stories through its history and otherness, I can go like this for months.
INDULGE: Do you ever encounter “writer’s block” and if so, how do you handle it?
TREBOR: Writers block has never been a big problem for me, but I get stuck sure. I’ve always got bunches of projects going, so I jump around til one inspires me. Or I write a movie review or blog or something. Sometimes just reading, or hiking or swimming. The Sauna. Something about heating up my brain leads to the imagination and inspiration.
INDULGE: Any advice to aspiring writers?
TREBOR: If you’re an aspiring writer, read good work, and read work from other cultures, other times and places. Poetry. I think poetry is great preparation for good fiction writing. Carry a book and a pad of paper everywhere you go, and when you’re waiting or in between things, write, read, keep your mind spinning in that beautiful wheel of language. Like anything, it’s a garden and it must be cultivated everyday and with care, respect and love.
— Ghalib Dhalla
Trebor Healey’s short story collection, Eros & Dust (Lethe Press) is available on Kindle or Paperback at your local bookstores or at Amazon.com
More on the author at http://treborhealey.com/