John Reed is author of A Still Small Voice (Delacorte), The Whole (Simon & Schuster), Snowball's Chance (Melville House), All The World's A Grave (Penguin), Tales of Woe (MTV Press), and Free Boat (C&R Press). He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia University. His work has been published in (selected) Art in America, the Believer, Slate, the Paris Review, the Times Literary Supplement, the Wall Street Journal, Vice, The New York Times, and Harpers. His writing has been anthologized in (selected) Best American Essays (Houghton Mifflin), The Brooklyn Rail Fiction Anthology (Hanging Loose), and Vitamin PH (Phaidon). John is teaching "Art and Culture for Writers" as well as an MFA fiction workshop, and is currently the Fiction Coordinator for the MFA Creative Writing Program.
1. Who is your favorite protagonist in literature? Antagonist?
Well, I think my favorite villain would have to be satan. Not the wicked conniving satan, but the laughing one:
(I am not a devil worshipper at all; I'm assuming this is from a purely literary perspective.) Favorite characters: As a tween, I fell in love with Estella from Great Expectations; as a college sophomore, I fell in love with Clavdia from Magic Mountain.)
2. When did you know you were a writer?
When I decided I was too old to go to law school.
3. What are you currently working on?
Many things! Finishing a long-term historical novel project, a couple of films, another novel, a few collections of essays.
4. How has your writing process changed over the years?
I don't need naps.
5. Describe your writing style in one line?
I only work on projects when I have high energy for them. I don't force anything, and almost always work on more than one thing at a time. I do like to have a "best energy" project.
Five Questions, by Nicole L. Drayton. Nicole is a writer, screenwriter and independent filmmaker based in Brooklyn, NY. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Liberal Arts from The New School, and currently works for the university in the MFA Creative Writing office.