SELFIE INTERVIEW | Michael Colbert

Michael Colbert loves horror films (his favorites are Candyman and Silence of the Lambs) and coffee (his favorites are Ethiopian and Costa Rican). He’s an MFA candidate in fiction at UNC Wilmington, and his writing appears or is forthcoming in Gulf Coast, Atlas Obscura, and Barrelhouse, among others.

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

Michael Colbert: I love stories about rabbit holes where the character’s obsession starts to influence the storytelling, stories that really believe in what worries their protagonists. 

Eckleburg: What are you working on now?

Michael Colbert: Currently, I’m at work on a novel about two friends who, during a summer working at a coffee shop, fall into overlapping love and friendship triangles. In terms of nonfiction, I’m interested in writing about pop culture and horror film, and I have an essay coming out soon about Lizzie Borden. 

Eckleburg: Who and what are your artistic influences?

Michael Colbert: My favorite writers are Laura van den Berg, Jia Tolentino, Ottessa Moshfegh, and Jeffrey Eugenides. I think a lot about Trick Mirror and Leslie Jamison’s The Empathy Exams; I love nonfiction that really digs into an idea and mucks around in it. I find inspiration in film as well. The aesthetics and storytelling of The Favourite have been on my mind for a long time, and I watch a lot of horror films. I’m interested in writing that straddles literary and speculative genres, like the work of Carmen Maria Machado and Lesley Nneka Arimah. 

Eckleburg thanks Michael Colbert. 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 | 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.