Author Interview – Jessica Feather

More From This Author

Books & Stories
To be Continued!

But in the meantime:
Jessica is a part of the small creative team at Killer Party Games that writes and develops murder mystery party kits!

Story Art Sneak Peek

Amazing Artwork By Daniela Rivera

"Good Intentions"

Anthology: Uncanny & Unearthly Tales
Release Date: Oct 27th, 2023
Preorders: Coming Soon
About the Author: Jessica Feather, at various times, lived in much of the middle and southern United States, but has called Austin, Texas home for the past 17 years. She makes her living as a grant writer for hire. She is an award-winning trapeze performer, former drag-king, and occasional knitter.
Q & A

How does it feel to have this story published for the first time?

I’m completely over the moon. This is actually my first published story, so this is a life-long dream come true for me. After a decade of working as a nonprofit grant writer, I recently decided to create space in my schedule to start seriously pursuing my creative writing. Seeing one of my own stories in print motivates me to write even more! I’m particularly excited to see “Good Intentions” published because it’s such a dark and quirky tale. I’m thrilled that it has the chance to find its audience.

What inspired the idea for your story?

I had the honor of portraying Virgil in a theatrical version of Dante’s “Inferno” last year. Getting into the character's mind inspired me to think deeply about the nature of divine punishment and human morality—historically, in modern culture, and in relationship to my own worldview. Naturally, eternal damnation struck me as the ideal topic for a comedy.

We know that writing can be a tumultuous journey with a lot of obstacles, what is your kryptonite as a writer?

Time management! I have a lot going on in my life. I run my own business, I’m the mother of a teenager, I try to stay engaged in a wide variety of hobbies (from trapeze to pottery), I have a side-business I run in collaboration with my siblings, I try to go to the gym regularly, I spend time with friends and family, I read, and, you know, occasionally I do laundry or clean something in my home. Often, I find myself stealing moments in the middle of the night or over my lunch hour to write on my personal projects.

Clearly, you’ve succeeded at writing a captivating story for GrendelPress, but we all start somewhere. What advice would you give yourself as a young writer?

Tell stories in your everyday life. Fill your most mundane moments with fanciful narratives. For example, when you notice that the price of eggs went up at your local grocer, make up some reasons—the more absurd the better. Maybe the supply of eggs is low because the chickens went on strike. Or because chupacabras stopped sucking goats in favor of sucking eggs. Or maybe the chickens read that they evolved from dinosaurs and decided to start a nostalgic movement to go back to their roots of hunting in packs like velociraptors, suddenly rendering Egg Collector as a job too dangerous for anyone to fill. By making storytelling a habit in your daily life, you can exercise the mental muscles of creativity and inspiration. Plus, it makes your whole world seem a little more amusing.

We’d like to argue that every good story makes both the author and the readers feel something. What perspectives or beliefs have you challenged with your story?

I love this question! Without saying too much, so I don’t give away the ending of my story, “Good Intentions” challenges perspectives on the nature of reward and punishment.

What do you love most about your story’s genre?

As a writer, Dark Comedy is my favorite genre. Writing “Good Intentions” was particularly fun because I allowed myself to lean fully into both the playful and existential parts of myself—as a writer and as a human. I especially enjoyed using the afterlife as the story’s setting. The great hereafter has gobs of powerful cultural associations attached to it and yet there are no set rules for what it actually is. It was an absolute lark to use existing tropes as a starting point for creating something quirky and new.

Tell us about your favorite author. What about their book(s) call to you and how do they inspire your own writing?

Shirley Jackson’s prose is sublime. While, naturally, I love the dark and subtle nature of her novel’s plots, the quality of her work that I find most inspirational is the way that her writing completely immerses me in the psychology of her characters.

What are some other genres you’d like to break into and why?

My blog is purely a home for humor writing and most of my short stories are dark comedies with horror or fantasy elements. However, the new story I just started writing will be purely horror. I really want to write something that straight up scares people.

If you had to pick another story of yours to share with your readers, what would it be?

I have another dark little comedy about sirens who wreak utter havoc at a karaoke bar. It does not yet have a publisher, but I am hopeful it will find its home anthology soon.
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(1) Comment for this blog

  1. Helen Schneider
    September 15, 2023

    Great interview, can’t wait to read Jessica’s story.

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