Archive for the ‘Interview’ Category

Ali McCart founded the Portland-based Indigo Editing and Publications a little over five years ago. Since then, she and her band of like-minded editors have worked tirelessly in forming a company whose services, publications and local presence are unaccountably unique.

In addition to its ongoing offerings of editing and writing mentorship services, Indigo hosts the annual Sledgehammer Writing Contest—a scavenger hunt/team writing free-for-all that asks contestants to simultaneously test their skills in treasure hunting and under-the-gun scribbling. Indigo puts out its own literary journal (Ink-Filled Page) and offers regular classes on the ins and outs of the writing business.

McCart—along with Indigo’s Senior Editor Kristin Thiel and Associate Editor Susan DeFreitas—will be reading at this month’s Rough Copy reading series, on July 27. I sat down with the three of them to talk about the relationship between editing and writing, their upcoming artistic endeavors, and the many-headed beast that is Indigo Editing and Publications.

Shane Danaher: So first of all, do you want to just tell me a little bit about Indigo, how it got started and what it is?

Ali McCart: So, Indigo is a collective of editors and each of us has different specialties. We work with authors and publishers and organizations based on our various specialties. Nonfiction, health and wellness, memoir, fantasy, sci-fi, and other genres. We’ve got three of us here and then we have a fourth editor who’s actually in Sacramento. And so it didn’t work out for her to be in the reading this month. But yes. We edit for publishers and independent authors alike.


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It’s nearly impossible to have an issue release party without, you know, releasing an issue.  And since we’re such traditionalists here at Rough Copy, we have coupled our party with a brand new issue.  It’s the right thing to do.

Happy reading!

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Look at this beautiful picture.  It’s beckoning you to come out to hear some amazing writing and music.  It’s beckoning you to celebrate with us.  And you can’t help but answer that call.

Issue Launch Party, November 11, 7:00, Canvas Art Bar

Featuring readings by:

Merridawn Duckler, Jason Gray, Patrick Lamson-Hall, Hannah Pass, Dao Strom, & Sandy Tanaka

With musical entertainment by:  The Weak Knees

Cover Art by: Grace Weston

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Tom Bissell

I think it’s always a sign of good things to come when an interview starts out with a fifteen minute break so that the interviewee and I can properly dress and accessorize our game characters.  Sackboy, as the character from the super awesome game, Little Big Planet is known, wouldn’t dare enter any game world without being properly dressed.  That is a known fact.  I nattily dressed my Sackboy in tweed and glasses that can only be described as “rockstar,” and off we went, jumping, swinging, and dancing through technicolor landscapes.  And it hits me, this memory, the memory of my first Nintendo.  I let many hours pass in my attempts to beat, nay, destroy Super Mario Brothers.  And somehow I know, clicking the x button, while I reach for the swinging vine in front of me, that I could easily spend the rest of my life playing this game.  And that is the beauty of it all.  Here I am, all grown up and stuff, and I’m transfixed, mesmerized by the colors, the sounds, the movement, just like I used to be.  Translation: Video games are pretty neat.

Tom Bissell is a writer, teacher, and gamer. The author of both works of  fiction and non-fiction, his newest work, Extra Lives: Why Video Games Matter, bridges the divide between video games and literature. We met recently for a chat about bridging the great divide between “high” and “low” culture, the literary world, and making the world safe for cromulent.


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It’s always a good day when I’ve got good Rough Copy news to share.  First, the new issue is up, and it’s great.  We’ve got a few new things including our first piece of flash fiction, and our first music submission.  It’s an issue of firsts, including the biggest first of all the firsts, our first fiction contest!  Make you way over to the magazine to read some excellent writing, hear a beautiful song, and ponder the possibilities of being our fiction contest winner.

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Bonnie Jo Campbell

Author Bonnie Jo Campbell

Bonnie Jo Campbell has led a life like a tall tale.

The six-foot, blonde Michigander has worked for Ringling Brothers’ Circus, earned a black belt in Kouburyu karate, and, before devoting her efforts to fiction, received a master’s degree in mathematics. She has led bike tours across Russia, raised more than one horse, and, most recently, received a nomination for the National Book Award for American Salvage, her second collection of short stories.

Following the cue of her first collection (Women and Other Animals) and her debut novel (Q Road), American Salvage deals with a rural Michigan of methamphetamine, unemployment, and millennial paranoia. Campbell’s characters are larger-than-life scrabblers whose love, fear, and devotion is rendered achingly throughout her work.

While in Portland for a reading and a brief stop at Pacific University (where she teaches in the low-residency program), Campbell took a minute to chat with me about Michigan, the process of her writing, and what to do when your professor says you’re “everything that’s wrong with fiction today.”


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For a visual artist, Mary Mattingly has spent an inordinately large amount of the last decade in the company of engineers. Her two latest projects, The Wearable Home and Waterpod, have been experiments in survival in a rapidly approaching dystopian future and they have gained Mattingly widespread praise for her ambitious employment of sculpture, living systems, and sheer resourcefulness.

Originally a child of Northern Connecticut, Mattingly has pursued a visual arts career that has taken her as far afield as the Parsons School of Design, NYU, Yale, Paris, and her current home of New York City. Among her varied accomplishments are included a post-apocalyptic opera, a series of inventive and functional Wearable Homes, and—most recently and perhaps most notably—the Waterpod Project.

A collaboration between Mattingly and a series of environmentalists, sculptors, marine engineers, and designers, the Waterpod was a self-sustaining experimental home, contained on the space of a floating barge. Meant to supply food, electricity, and shelter for up to four people, the Waterpod launched in June of 2009 from a peer in the Bronx and made a well-publicized, three-month voyage up through Queens, serving as a hub for community-building and environmental awareness along the way. It is an outstanding example of the environmental consciousness and boundary-pushing creativity that have so far defined Mattingly’s career and continue to do so as her international reputation expands.

Mattingly recently took time from her schedule to chat with me via email about the Waterpod Project, life in New York City, and the legal challenges of blending the line between one’s art and one’s living space. (more…)

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