Gwendolyn Brooks' Carps of the Day

If you ask me why I wrote the book I wrote I will tell you it is because of Gwendolyn Brooks' Carps of the Day, published in the 2011 edition of The Best American Short Stories in her intro. I read that list as a call to action. It was like an extended writing exercises and it gave me perimeters. So much of writing is narrowing down focus. This helped me narrow focus and also avoid some subject matter that maybe in American fiction was becoming cliche. The last rule, the eight rule, that I set for myself was that I would not have any writers as characters. Maybe one day, but not in this book and not in the next one either.