Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam
Tea with the Titans, flash fiction, Issue 28, September 1, 2014
Birthdate? February 20
When did you start writing? When I was a kid, I used to create picture books about my cat, April, and her grand adventures. My favorite was called "April Meets an Alien."
When and what and where did you first get published? My first published short story was called "They Come In Through the Walls" in Expanded Horizons in 2012. It's about a woman whose father has Alzheimer's. She moves into his house to take care of him, and every night she and her father are joined at dinner by phantoms who come into the house through the walls. My next publication and my first pro publication was a story called "The Wanderers" in Clarkesworld in 2013, about sadistic aliens who come to earth only to find it empty.
What themes do you like to write about? I write a lot about family, as my family has always been very important to me. Also sexuality. Mythology and fairy tale. I especially like looking at aspects of mythology and fairy tales that may have been glossed over in the original, or examining the fairy tale characters from a psychological standpoint.
What books and/or stories have most resonated with you as an author? Why? How do these stories and their characters find expression in your work? When I first discovered the work of Kelly Link and Aimee Bender, I felt as though I was finally reading the kind of story I'd always wanted to read. I resonated with Kelly Link's obsessive teenagers in "Magic for Beginners" and the manic and depressive teenage girls in Bender's "The Healer." The subtlety of the fantastic in their stories was still so powerful and spoke to me on a deeper metaphorical level as well as a personal surface level; not only were these stories telling truths about the world, they were also relatable to my personal experiences. I strive for such three-dimensionality in my own fiction.
Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam lives in Texas with her partner and two literarily-named cats: Gimli and Don Quixote. Her fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in magazines such as Clarkesworld, Lightspeed, Strange Horizons, and Interzone. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Southern Maine's Stonecoast program and curates an annual Art & Words Show, which was recently profiled in Poets & Writers. You can visit her on Twitter@BonnieJoStuffle or through her website: www.bonniejostufflebeam.com.