Wordsmith Interview – Katherine Hill

Photo by Jasmine Davis – Twitter @JPDavis_TDC, and Instagram jasmine.davis97

Age: 20

Location: Sometimes Houston, TX. Sometimes Round Rock, TX. Sometimes Canada.

Education: Currently pursuing a BA in Creative Writing at the University of Houston.

The Writer

How long have you been writing?
That’s a difficult question. In second grade, I had a thirteen book series about a girl and her pet mouse. Each book was probably no longer than ten pages with more time devoted to coloring the pictures than writing the words, but as much of a cliché as it is, I’ve been writing for as long as I’ve known the right way to hold a pencil.

What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment as a writer?
At this point, just the fact that I can use that word to describe myself. I don’t think fifteen year old me would believe she actually went on to keep writing, much less that her work would appear somewhere in the world besides Microsoft Word. Crack the Spine is my first publication, and I am both empowered and humbled that it even happened.

What is your ultimate goal as a writer?
Someday, I would love to have my own literary magazine. They aren’t for money and they don’t make money, but I really admire presses like Glimmer Train (and Crack the Spine, of course) and I think it would be amazing to follow in those publications’ footsteps.

The Work

Tell us about your work in Crack the Spine.
Happy Birthday” is a flash fiction piece about a group of children in their childhood safe haven discovering that it is not actually all that safe.

What inspired “Happy Birthday?”
The word fiction is loosely applied here, because as kids, my siblings and I did spend all of our time in a rock quarry, and there was actually a maimed deer. But that didn’t stop us from going back.

Anything else you’d like to share about your work in Crack the Spine?
This was originally an assignment for a class, and the professor tore it apart. I decided to get a second opinion. Don’t let anyone tell you that spite gets you nowhere.

Tell us about another project you have published or are currently working on.
I’ve been working for a few months on a short story called Fletcher. It’s about a rabbit. And heroin. But mostly a rabbit.

What inspired this work?
One of my brothers. He passed away in April of last year, and I find him weaving into my writing a lot these days.

The Methods

How often do you write?
I try to get in at least an hour a day, though that’s hard to do sometimes. But every hour I write earns me a dinosaur sticker on my desk calendar for later celebration.

What are your thoughts on writing at a computer vs. writing longhand?
I don’t even know how people can write longhand without wanting to amputate their hands. You all have my respect.

What is your usual starting point for a piece?
Usually, it starts with a bizarre sentence, and then the rest of the piece just…happens. I like images, thoughts.

What is your best piece of advice on how to stay sane as a writer?
Don’t.

The Madness

What is your favorite book?
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini. Cell by Stephen King.

What makes you laugh?
Pictures of rabbits yawning.

What makes you cry?
Pictures of rabbits yawning.

What’s in that cup on your desk?
A dead zebra.

What is the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen?
My boyfriend is Canadian. I was visiting him one summer, and we spent a few days at a lake. I experienced the most radiant sunset I have ever seen with the most amazing person I have ever met, and I don’t think words will ever do justice to how much the sky can make you feel.

Rain or Sunshine?
Rain.

Beach or Mountains?
Mountains.

Cats or Dogs?
Rabbits.

Additional Reading on Katherine

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