I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Amy Jones, whose story “Die Young” is published in The Malahat Review‘s Spring 2014 issue, #186. It’s the story of how three twenty-something friends and a sister deal with the death of their friend/brother.
What was the inspiration for “Die Young”? Did you set out to explore death and quarter-life malaise or was it spawned by an image or something else?
I had gone to a couple of funerals in a row and was thinking a lot about death and funerals and you know, the whole pointlessness of everything and just generally being weird and moody and wanting to write about it. A lot of my stories start like that: with me wanting to process something that I’ve experienced or that I’ve been obsessing over, and using that kind of as a jumping-off point for something fictional. I feel like if I can transform something, make it happen to other characters in a different setting or in a different way or whatever, that it helps me understand it better.
(I realize I just said “other characters” as if I am a character, too, which I suppose is entirely possible and if I think about it too much I’m going to fall into some kind of “Stranger Than Fiction” black hole and make myself insane.)