Thursday, November 6, 2014

Metro Blue by Jason LaPier
Continuing with the author interviews for the NIWA anthology UNDERGROUND, today we will hear from Jason LaPier. Jason has received several writing awards for his short fiction. In July 2015 his debut novel, a science fiction murder mystery called Unexpected Rain, is scheduled to be published by Harper Voyager.

When I read "Metro Blue" I was immediately taken into the point-of-view of an old woman riding the subway for the last time. The sights, sounds, and smells she encounters as the door opens at each stop simultaneously captures both the surreal experience of interactions and the small shared intimacies it forces, whether desired or not. If you have ever commuted on a subway system you will appreciate this story.

So, Jason, tell me what inspired you to submit this particular story to the collection?

"Generally, I write a lot of speculative fiction: a lot of sci-fi, a little horror, a touch of fantasy, that kind of thing. I thought for sure I'd come up with some sci-fi idea for what "underground" means, but sometimes when I write short fiction, I have to feed the part of me that wants to do a little literary work.

I used to live in Brooklyn, and one of the things I never thought I'd miss, but do, is the subway. There's such a variety of people that ride the train in New York, all if them with their own destinations, their own pasts, their own stories. I was there a relatively short time, but for some people, I imagine that the subway has been an undercurrent theme throughout their lives.

Instead of using New York, I based my story in a fictional city so that I could bend the train's route to my will. I found that this concept gave me something creative to play with while at the same time being a strong structural skeleton that holds the story together. Even though the train is on a fixed track, it travels uptown, downtown, east, west, to the center, and out to the edges, and I wanted this route to mimic the jumping way we visit the main character's memorable life moments; that even though it feels like we're on a set path sometimes in the day-to-day, when we look back over our lives, we can see how varied our travels have been."

Learn more about Jason and his work at his website

1 comment:

Maggie Lynch said...

Thanks for stopping by and sharing your insights into Metro Blue, Jason. This definitely makes me want to look at what else you have written.