Len Kuntz will now answer The Questions

Len's stories are here and about here.

what's your writing routine?

I write every day, however, never as much as I wish.  When I’m working on the novel I give myself a word count goal of at least 2,000.  After a morning run, I write from 9:30 to 3:00.

do you wait for inspiration? 

I know you’re not supposed to, but yes, sometimes I’m lazy and I do wait for a spark.  Of course, if I just push myself and start writing the inspiration always comes—it just takes longer and requires perseverance.  It’s easy to forget writing is work, and to not respect the craft in that way.


where do your best ideas come from?


I have a lot of tangled personal history to mine, but usually my ideas percolate from reading other writers-- a word or a phrase will trigger this gushing sensation that needs to be formed in and of itself, and I’ll stop reading and reach for a pen. 


how much do you revise? 


With flash fiction I like to flush it our fast.  Often, though, if I haven’t got a story accepted, if it’s taken awhile longer than usual, I’ll give it a fresh look and tweak things or sometimes revise the entire piece.  I admire people who appreciate the editing and revision process.  I know Carver would tinker endlessly and enjoy doing it.  For me, I’d rather move onto the next story.


what writer most influenced you?


In short fiction I love the writing of Meg Pokrass, Brandi Wells, Roxane Gay, Kathy Fish, Claudia Smith and Carver—always Carver.  In novel fiction, there are hundreds but Richard Price, Tom Perotta, Charles Baxter, Cormac McCarthy and Updike are some of my favorites.


coffee or tea? 

Lots of coffee works wonders for the often lonely activity of writing.  If nothing else, it keeps you bouncing up and down in your chair while the computer screen sticks out its tongue and ridicules you.   But a good push is always helpful for writers, whether it’s a rush from reading a great story, a compliment from a fellow author, seeing a powerful film, or something chemically concocted like coffee or Red Bull.


paper or computer?


I type on a computer but I usually print out a story five to eight times to read aloud along the way.  Holding the words in my hand is so sensate, and physical touch is important to me.  That’s why I still buy cd’s and why I don’t think I’ll ever do a Kindle.  Although I understand that packaging is marketing to a degree, it’s also a big part of the holistic work.  Sergeant Pepper without the cover?  That’d be a crime. 


Left Hand Waving:  Great website or greatest website?


That’s a ballsy question to ask—so, good for you.  I’d say great, sure.  I love the premise, but hey, you’re still a kid compared to Smoke Long and Monkey Bicycle.  But LHW is definitely fresh and specific.  I love the confessional aspect, plus you’ve got genius talent like Dale and Howie.   Every time I read anything Howie writes my mouth hangs open.  He’s so prolific yet nothing of his ever feels lazy or rushed.