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Meet the Press

Describe your writing style to someone who’s never read you.
Simple, direct. Images make meaning.

How would The New York Times categorize your writing?
Realist, detail-oriented, minimal, striking, rural.

What was the catalyst that made you start writing?
I remember writing stories with my friends in elementary school. I have always been a gossip, but taking time with people, writing them down, embellishing on who they are on the page—making characters. That is gossip, amplified.

4.) Your favorite—
Whisk(e)y: Jack Daniels.
Wild animal: Panther.
Waffle topping: Chocolate and bananas.
Poem: “Ashes” by Andrew Hudgins.
Scientist or inventor: Tesla.
Broadway musical: Sweeney Todd.
Badass getaway vehicle: Audi.
Movie to watch alone: The Witches of Eastwick or Death Becomes Her.

Tell us about your favorite books or authors.
Toni Morrison is one of my favorites. She uses images to make meaning and her characters are interesting and they are written clearly, with intent. She has confidence and so do her characters. Beloved is my favorite Morrison novel. A close second would be Flannery O’Connor. She isn’t afraid to depict ugliness in people. That never goes out of style. You can see that in A Good Man Is Hard to Find.

If you could witness or participate in any historical event or time period, what would it be?
I would like to go to Woodstock in 1969. I think it’s pretty rare to have that amount of people and nothing violent happens. Also, I think it would be a good place to try psychedelic drugs.

Weapon of choice:

The perfect soundtrack to your writing:
“The Acoustic Storm”—a radio show that plays acoustic 70s rock songs.

4.) Which literary figure, dead or alive, would you want to—
Take tea with: Emily Brontë.
Arm wrestle: Edgar Allan Poe.
Ice skate with: Truman Capote.
Drink under the table: Ernest Hemingway.
Get a blurb from: Tony Morrison.
Beat in a duel of wits: Chuck Klosterman.
Have on your side in the apocalypse: Cormac McCarthy.
Write your next book for you: Anthony Doerr, I guess.

The one thing in your writing routine you couldn’t live without:
Diet Coke.

Set the perfect scene for you to write your next masterpiece.
Secluded cabin, ample soft blankets, Spotify, my coonhound—Daisy.

When writing makes you rich, you will …
Spend more time in the secluded cabin from the previous answer, keep writing, get more coonhounds.

You can find Stephanie on Alternating Current with her short story, “Inheritance,” first published on Go Read Your Lunch, then later as the Third Place winner of the 2015 Luminaire Award for Best Prose on The Current.

Stephanie Liden was born and raised in Northern Minnesota. She received her B.A. in journalism and recently her M.A. in English from the University of North Dakota, where she completed her thesis-style portfolio, entitled “Americanization and Assimilation,” in which she presents a critique of popular immigration narratives in American Literature. She contributed as a reader for North Dakota Quarterly and the student-run literary magazine, Floodwall. Liden is currently living in a small Minnesota farming community and continues to write.

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