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Chip Houser

Ms. Solevacj’s Leaf-Mould, Fiction, Issue 39, June 15, 2017

Chip Houser's fiction has appeared in Daily Science Fiction, Spark, Every Day Fiction, Rosebud Magazine, and elsewhere in print and online. He is a 2014 graduate of the Odyssey Writing Workshop and is currently pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Missouri in St. Louis.

Get to know Chip...

Birthday? August 4, 1969, although I was supposed to be born on July 4th. (Sorry, Mom.)
When did you start writing? I wrote a few semi-autobiographical stories in the mid-1990’s while I was living in Berlin--ill-formed vignettes about kidnapped caryatids, lovelorn buskers on the U-Bahn, and overripe Persian rugs in slum lord lairs--but the Odyssey Writing Workshop is where I really began to grasp the elusive rules of writing. Odyssey transformed my devotion to the craft of writing, and I hope my actual writing as well.
When and what and where did you first get published? "Flip Side," a time travel flash fiction in Daily Science Fiction, July 29, 2013.
What themes do you like to write about? My first drafts are often much more upbeat than where they end up, which is with themes of isolation, loneliness, and the glorious brutality of both nature and man.
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? I was absolutely devastated by T.C. Boyle's short story "Chixculub," and how he cleverly intertwines a micro- and macro stories. I was working on "Ms. Solevacj's Leaf-mould" at the time, and Boyle's work felt smart and funny and in tune with what I was trying to achieve. Reading it felt like the little nudge I needed to understand what I was trying to do with my own story.

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