Michael Peck

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what is your name?

Michael Peck.

how would you describe what you do?

Think about writing, read, think about writing, research, consider writing, read, research, think about writing. Afterwards, ideally, I
write.

what are you currently working on?

A novella about utopianism, some short stories, an essay on an Orson Welles film.

what has had the greatest influence on your work?

I often wonder about that. A little bit of everything, I suppose. A.B. in particular. Music, especially Tom Waits, Schubert and Bach. And also Flaubert, Melville, David Lynch, Edward Hopper, Goya, hardboiled dialog, mineral water, fountain pens, weird motel rooms, Wyoming at midnight, Portland just before sunrise, quantum physics, the Marx Brothers and a good thunderstorm. Yes, a little
bit of everything.

what is the greatest misconception about you or your work?

You’d have to ask someone who is familiar with me or my work.

what do you see as the main strengths and weaknesses of the medium you work in?

There are no constraints in terms of what can or cannot be written or how a storyline progresses; the range of style and expression is unbounded by anything tangible. I think this is also the central weakness of writing, insofar as this endless stream of possibilities makes perfection impossible. But this is true of any medium.

how has technology impacted upon the work you do?

It has streamlined information-gathering, editing and procrastination.

what’s the greatest piece of advice you would like to┬ápass on?

From Raymond Chandler: “Write or nothing.”

where can we find you online?

At believermag.com, the2ndhand.com, bibliostyle.wordpress.com, LA Review of Books.

what are you reading at the moment?

The Red and the Black, some Barthes, the aphorisms of Lichtenberg, a history of pulp fiction cover art.

what are you listening to at the moment?

Charles Mingus.

anything else we should know?

I can’t think of anything at the moment.

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