Chelsea Werner-Jatzke interviews Christine Texeira (contributor to The Conium Review: Vol. 3). Her work has also recently appeared in Moss. She currently works at the Hugo House in Seattle, and she is managing editor of Paragraphiti.
[Chelsea Werner-Jatzke]: What is Paragraphiti?
[Christine Texeira]: Currently it’s an online journal, but we’re about to release our first print issue. It was started by a fellow grad student at University of Notre Dame and is focused on international writers and artists. I’m the managing editor.
[CWJ]: Besides the journal, what else are you working on?
[CT]: I’m editing my graduate school thesis into a novel. It’s a series of stories that feel cohesive to me. One of them was published in Moss. It’s very much a novel of the Northwest. Lot’s of Sasquatch and D.B. Cooper.
[CWJ]: Both the story in Moss and the piece published by Conium are focused on strange sibling dynamics. What’s the deal?
[CT]: I was raised as an only child and had always wanted a sibling. There’s something about that relationship that I have no insight into. It’s like, because I can’t comprehend it I am trying to figure it out in writing. Later in life I discovered that I have an older brother that I’ve never met and I don’t think he knows I exist. Before that discovery I had always written characters that had siblings but it wasn’t the focus of the story. After that discovery I decided to focus on this obsession.
[CWJ]: At AWP I asked you if all your stories were so odd and you were like, “yeah pretty much.” Conium is a journal for experimental fiction, is all of your writing experimental in form or just bizarre in content?
[CT]: A lot of it is form. I become attached to strange bits of information and write about them. Then I begin to see how they can combine. I like to be surprised and am always looking for the funny and the scary that together create the strange. I don’t mean “surprised” or “scary” as in, horror stories. I mean I like to be surprised by my own narratives. To write to the place where I’m a bit afraid because I don’t know where the narrative will go, what the rules are. Then I go back and tame the story, edit a lot of that out.
[CWJ]: Can you describe your editing process?
[CT]: I typically write in sections that are titled and specific. They can have a wide variety in length. Then I cut entire pieces and see what’s left, how they fit together. I consider myself a short story writer but the pieces that I am editing into a novel right now feel unified.
[CWJ]: You have a Furnace reading coming up in 2016 and they publish longish, self-contained stories incorporating audio. What are you presenting for that?
[CT]: That is also a section of the novel, similarly self-contained as the Moss piece. It’s about Mortal Kombat. I’m partial to Mortal Kombat 4 since it’s what I grew up playing so I am going take recordings from that for the reading.
[CWJ]: Are you working anything outside of the novel?
[CT]: I’m writing other stories, not connected, about strange jobs.
[CWJ]: Like what?
[CT]: One is about a continuity editor for a porn production company in futuristic Seattle.
[CWJ]: Do you watch a lot of porn?
[CT]: No not really. I was talking to someone who works at Amazon writing descriptions or reviews or something, and I got to thinking about the job of someone who has to watch a lot of porn, what that would be like.
[CWJ]: Well there’s certainly room for improvement in the cinematic qualities of pornography.
[CT]: Yes, this production company believes porn could be so much more.
Look for more fiction from Christine Texeira to inspire the literary world and the hopefully the porn industry too. Visit her website at https://christinetexeira.wordpress.com and follow her on Twitter @xtinetexeira for more information.