Summer Wigmore: Back When the River Had No Name

summerSummer Wigmore has written many books and published one, so far: The Wind City, published by Steam Press. This is their first foray into sending out short stories, and shows the excellent rewards of foraying. Lately Summer has also taken up a bewildering variety of crafts, from candle-making to drying their own ingredients for tea. A living experiment in gentle pretension.

 1. What inspired your story/novelette?

What made me choose it for this was all the brilliant post-apocalyptic media going around at the moment, so, thank you Mad Max. I’ve had the idea for a long time, though. As a teenager I was biking along the riverpaths by my house, and wondered what it would be like if they were completely deserted, the tarmac cracked. I stood by the busy bridge very early in the morning one day and got a hint of that desolation. From that I played around with the idea of a post-apocalyptic version of the city I grew up in, and here we are.

Initially I never managed to write it because I thought it was a novel! I’m glad I’ve come far enough to delight in other forms, and that I finished it eventually.

2. What appealed to you about this project?

Literally eveeeeerything.

Liminality and well-liked peers. The edges of things. Most of all, being able to contribute or participate in a project that sounded so exciting! I love everything done by the creative team involved, Dan and Lee, Marie. I wanted to appear beside our best and brightest and I’m so grateful and delighted that I got to!

3. What do you love about short stories? Cover_AW_The Wind City_01.indd

Every word needs to be there. You don’t get the chance to waste anything.

Also, they can hit like a hammer to the chest, or sneak up on you ages later and linger around. A powerful effect for a small thing.

4. Can you remember the first thing you ever read that made you want to write?

Yes, but as it was a picture book about ants where I was mostly just enamoured with knowing what punctuation marks were, I might answer this with what made me take my lifelong idle wish to be a writer and actually work to make it a reality, which is Pat Rothfuss’s book The Name of the Wind. Reading it I was struck immensely by its beauty. It was the first book I stayed up after one for. (Back BEFORE that was my routine.) I vowed to one day make something even a quarter as beautiful. I can recognise it as being a work made by a human and possessing flaws, these days, but I’m still deeply grateful for the fire it lit in me.

at-the-edge_front-cover5. What’s next for you?

I’m still tinkering away at a novel that seems to have taken me a long time, and have high hopes for this one, cautiously. And will always be writing books! I will dive more often into short stories as a form, now, though. It’s exciting to see what can be done with them.


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