SELFIE INTERVIEW | Joseph Lapin

Joseph Lapin is an author and creative living in San Diego, CA, and his writing has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, The Village Voice, LA Weekly, Salon, Huck Magazine, and The Los Angeles Review, and Narratively selected his memoir, ‘Just Get in the Ambulance,’ as one of their top-ten all-time best memoirs. His fiction has appeared in Sliver of Stone, Literary Orphans, and Mental Ward: Echoes of the Past, an anthology from Sirens Call Publications. He is also the host and creator of The Working Poet Radio Show (on hiatus), a proud graduate of the MFA program at Florida International University, and the Vice President of Marketing and Communications at Circa Interactive.

Eckleburg: What captures your interest most in your work, now, as a reader of your work?

Joseph Lapin: When I read, I immediately hooked by a writer who can change the way I perceive my own reality. Whether it’s making me see a different world or slightly altering the way I see my own, I am immediately enthralled. Of course, I’m interested in writers who understand how to use the perfect word, but I’m also seeking an angle into a world, a story, a character that I have never seen before. Truthfully, when I open a book, I want the author to help remind me that anything is possible.

Eckleburg: What are you working on now?

Joseph Lapin: Right now, I’m working on a memoir, short stories, a novella, and a draft or two of a novel. After a few years of working solely on novels, I realized I was forcing my work a bit into spaces and directions that weren’t natural. I’m trying to focus on letting my work develop naturally on their own.

Eckleburg: Who and what are your artistic influences?

Joseph Lapin: In my professional life, I’m a marketing executive, and I study design thinking principles. While taking classes and conducting research on design thinking, I’ve come to the conclusion that innovation and great ideas come from bringing together a diversity of disciplines, thoughts, and ideas. My artistic inspirations are intentionally wide, and I’m constantly looking for new ways to think. Right now, I’m reading Ted Chiang, and I look for inspiration everywhere: Outlaw country music, Neo Rauch, John Green, Steph Cha, Frank O’Hara, hiking, Liu Cixin, Carlo Rovelli, and much more.

Eckleburg thanks Joseph Lapin. Do you have new work published here at Eckleburg or elsewhere? Add your Selfie Interview and share the news with our 10,000+ reading and writing community. If you have a new book out or upcoming, join our Eckleburg Book Club and let our readers know about it.

SELFIE INTERVIEW | mnsurratt@gmail.com

Over the years, Marshall Surratt has committed himself to writing about or photographing people who have sought to make a difference, including Rosa Parks, Anne Braden, Pete Seeger, Wendell Berry, and Wes Jackson. Other times he has turned attention to his family lore, to sort out past wrongs and attempts at penance, believing in self-examination, too. Articles and reviews of his have appeared in Christian Century, Christianity & Crisis, Texas Observer, and Dallas Morning News, as well as other publications.

Eckleburg: What captures your interest most in your work, now, as a reader of your work?

Marshall Surratt: In reading, I probably am most interested in how character and belief intersects the world of action. The nuanced descriptions in Defoe’s  Journal of the Plague Year of those who use difficult times for self-aggrandizement seem as relevant as ever.

Eckleburg: What are you working on now?

Marshall Surratt: I am writing a longform essay on political rhetoric, particularly as used to coalesce one’s own side and present other people as the dangerous enemy. When I taught journalism at the university, the intersection of religion and faith and the use of political rhetoric were my particular areas of study.

Eckleburg: Who and what are your artistic influences?

Marshall Surratt: My influences have been both writers and photographers, writers such as Wendell Berry and William Carlos Williams, or the writer-photographer Wright Morris, each who located his work in his community and sought to convey the quiet grace in the lives of those people in the surrounding community. I am also indebted to those people of faith who sought to empty their egos and engage with the world around them in a meaningful way, and are inquisitive and comfortable with not knowing everything, whether someone like an Owen Barfield (with whom I spent an afternoon once upon a time) or a Simone Weil.

Eckleburg thanks Marshall Surratt. Do you have new work published here at Eckleburg or elsewhere? Add your Selfie Interview and share the news with our 10,000+ reading and writing community. If you have a new book out or upcoming, join our Eckleburg Book Club and let our readers know about it.

SELFIE INTERVIEW | Jennifer Moglia Lucil

Jennifer Moglia Lucil is a writer, outdoor teacher, and intrepid parent of twin teenage boys. Her southwest home has taught her about reciprocity with the natural world, while her New York and Massachusetts families have taught her to recover her roots in order to take imaginative flights.

Jennifer’s work has won local recognition, from the Albuquerque Museum of Art, Anne Hillerman Celebration of Writing Award, 2019, for “Night of Thieves,” and from Alibi.com’s Pretty in Pink Writing Contest for “Chance Conversations: Teachers Seize the Ride-Sharing Moment.”

Jennifer studied Literature at Smith College and holds a Master’s degree in Literature and Film Studies from Brown University. She lives and works in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Eckleburg: What captures your interest most in your work, now, as a reader of your work?

Jennifer Moglia Lucil: In these upended times, I love encounters with the absurd. I’ve actually stopped myself in somber moments and asked, “O.k., that’s how you feel, but what was absurd about the moment?” Capturing the insanity of the time gets me moving forward, hopefully brings laughter. I am not as daring as the magical realists, but I discovered that being playful with words can bring something unexpected to the narrative.

Eckleburg: What are you working on now?

Jennifer Moglia Lucil: I am working on a personal essay about driving to Colorado in an RV with my husband and twin boys during the pandemic crisis. The subject is truly ripe for considering the sad humor of luxury vs. entrapment, escape and imprisonment in a motor home set out to see the country.

Eckleburg: Who and what are your artistic influences?

Jennifer Moglia Lucil: I remember watching, The Grapes of Wrath, with my grandfather, who loved the film as much for Henry Fonda’s I’ll Be There speech as for his own belief that “a man’s gotta’ work” to have a sense of dignity. The artists who take the time to tell the lives of the under-represented have always moved me. Charlie Chaplin’s Modern Times speaks to the Dollar Tree store employee of today for me, just as it did the factory worker of the time.

Eckleburg thanks Jennifer Moglia Lucil. Do you have new work published here at Eckleburg or elsewhere? Add your Selfie Interview and share the news with our 10,000+ reading and writing community. If you have a new book out or upcoming, join our Eckleburg Book Club and let our readers know about it.