Smash Lits with Jasmine Sawers

I published such a great flash by Jasmine Sawers at The Forge this week. You can read Leviathan here (do!) and I got to interview them too. Behold!

1) What is your favourite cheese?

Fresh mozz or goat cheese

2) What was the last text you sent?

“Why are people offended by this”

3) Who is your favourite Sesame Street character?

I straight up don’t remember enough about Sesame Street to answer this.

4) Bacon VS Tofu—who wins? Why?

It’s gotta be bacon for the sheer dopamine hit.

5) What makes the wind blow?

Fat bottomed girls?

6) How much money did you spend yesterday?

Too much on one (1) bubble tea. Oh and a $50 refill of my dog’s nerve meds.

7) Did you have an invisible friend when you were younger?


8) Do you have any recurring dreams?

I have falling or jumping dreams a lot.

9) What sandwiches would you make for a picnic with Kazuo Ishiguro?

First, I’d bake my own really great gluten-free bread because I’m not feeding this man something sub-par, nor am I compromising my own immune system just for his taste buds. Then, I’d carve some white and dark meat from a freshly roasted turkey complete with skin, and yeah I’m sprinkling that shit with fish sauce. Slap some salami and fresh mozz on there, mayo on the bread, maybe a nice chutney because he’s British. Serve with kettle chips.

10) What’s your favourite swear?


11) What’s your favourite fairy tale?

Copping out with three I can’t decide between: The Snow Queen, which I remixed into a very Buffalo, very Thai American apocalyptic future story over at Uncharted. A Thai fairy tale called Sung Thong, The Golden Conch Shell. My flash from the mother’s perspective appears at AAWW’s The Margins. The Steadfast Tin Soldier, for which I have written an extremely trans piece of flash in response to what I view as its extremely trans subtext. Still trying to place this one.

12) Assuming ghosts don’t currently exist, if I gave you the power to do so, would you will them into reality? (Question from previous interviewee Sam Asher.)

That’s a big assumption I don’t think you can make. I think if you can take “ghost” to have a more expansive meaning, say, for example, something more like “haunting,” they certainly already exist. I think land has a long memory.

13) What was your first concert?

Tina Turner. I assume my parents couldn’t find a babysitter. The well-oiled and scantily-clad sax man from the opening scene of Lost Boys was there.

14) If you had to have one animal live in your freezer, would you be hoping for polar bears?

Turns out tortoises can actually live in your fridge if they’re hibernating so if there’s an Ant/arctic version of them who could survive the freezer, that’s who I’d want.

15) Write me a question for the next Smash List interview I do

Which careers did the alternate universe version of you pursue instead of what you’re doing now?

16) What word or words make you cringe?

“Pregnant,” but worse are the shortenings like “preggers,” “preggo,” ughhh.
“Hubby.” “Wifey.”
Being called “lady.” Or “Chica.”

17) What is your phone screensaver?

My spouse at my friend’s wedding. Why not at our wedding? Because my friend’s wedding photographer was weirdly obsessed and took about a zillion pictures of just him. He was like, “she’s following me,” and we were all like, “nah she’s just making sure to get everyone.” We got the pictures back and nope. It might as well be an album of bride, groom, and Ben. It was totally bizarre. Anyway she got some great shots of him, so.

18) You are wallpaper. What is your pattern?

Gnomes, sasquatches, mushrooms, leaves, and ferns. The gnomes and the sasquatches are in love.

19) Mermaid, dinosaur or unicorn?

Well I’m nonbinary so I’m going to say both dinosaur and unicorn

20) What question should I have asked you?

What teas have you been enjoying lately?

Smash Lits with Kelly Griffiths

We published a powerful piece of creative non-fiction at the Forge last week – The Boots by Kelly Griffiths – which I urge you all to read. Kelly kindly agreed to take part in one of my daft interviews.

1. What was the last text you sent?

“Thank you, Gabe. You saved the day.” (My 13-year-old turned off the water to our leaking refrigerator while we were on a weekend away.)

2. You are wallpaper. What is your pattern?

If Jackson Pollock made wallpaper…

3. Who would play you in the film of your piece?

That’s easy. My piece is cnf. I’m the angry one.

4. Bacon VS Tofu – who wins? Why?


Bacon, even though I’m not generally a fan of pig. Come up with a salty, crunchy, grease saturated tofu, and I’ll change my answer.

5. Have you ever been attacked by an animal?

A poodle. I still have the scar. But in fairness, I provoked it.

6. What is the oldest piece of clothing in your wardrobe?

Everything. I’m a thrift store hunter, so it’s impossible to tell.

7. Have you ever seen a ghost?

No, but I think one steals our socks.

8. If you could make people read one book what would it be?

The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis

9. What is your favourite thing to write with?

My laptop.

10. Do you have a recurring dream?

Only the one in which I am on the New York Times Best Seller list.

11. What did you do last Saturday night?

My husband and I walked our dog, then watched a movie with our day-saving son (see #1).

12. What sandwiches would you make for a picnic with Zadie Smith?

Garlic-goat cheese, roasted red peppers, and balsamic dressing on Italian bread.

13. What word makes you cringe?

The f-word.

14. What’s your favourite swear?

The f-word.

15. What is your favourite biscuit?

Do you mean cookie? Because my favorite cookie is chocolate.

16. What is your favourite TV programme?

I don’t watch TV, but I love movies. The Impossible (2012)

17. Your writing is music, what style is it?

On my best day: symphonic metal.

18. What colour is loneliness?


19. Who is your writer crush?

Stephen King.

20. What question should I have asked you?

You should have asked what I’m doing this Friday. It’s far more interesting. And macabre. Between my acceptance at The Forge and my receipt of this fabulous and quirky list of questions (which I loved!), I received word I have a growing brain tumor. By the time this is published I will have had my skull cut open. I pray for a good outcome and look forward to reading this on the other side.

I am so glad to be able to write here that Kelly is recovering well.

Smash Lits with Brian Broome

I had the absolute pleasure of choosing a brilliant non-fiction flash to publish this week at The Forge Literary Magazine. Balk by Brian Broome manages to be poignant, achy, sad and funny. It’s a snapshot of him as a young, gay, black American boy and it fucking rocks. As does his Smash Lits interview. Thanks, Brian!

1) What is your favourite cheese?


2) What was your favourite book as a child?

“The Pigman” by Paul Zindel.

3) Who is/was your unlikely crush?

Alan Alda.

4) Who would play you in the film of your flash?

Caleb McGlaughlin from “Stranger Things”.
(Aww – I can see that!)

5) Bacon VS Tofu – who wins? Why?


Bacon, Bacon, Bacon, Bacon. Why? Because bacon and I read that tofu gives men boobs. I don’t care if that’s true or not and I guess enough bacon could give me boobs. But, if I’m gonna have boobs, they’re gonna be bacon boobs.

6) Creative nonfiction or fiction? Why? 

Creative nonfiction to write. Fiction to read.

7) Your writing is music, what style is it?

Any of the unfinished symphonies or K-POP.

8) Have you ever had a nickname? What?

Never ever tell. Ok, my Dad called me Big Boo.

9) Do you believe human beings can spontaneously combust

Yes. I’ve seen it.

10) How much money did you spend yesterday?

I spent 52 dollars at the Dollar Store.

11) What’s your most vivid childhood memory?

I think you may have just read it.

12) Do you bite your nails?

Yes. But, only for grooming purposes, not out of nervousness.

13) What’s your favourite sweet (candy)?


14) What is your motto for life?

Construct. Delude. Believe.

15) What did you do last Saturday night?

I worked. I wait tables and Saturday is a big night.

16) You hold a dinner party and can only invite writers. Who do you

Jackie Collins and Frantz Fanon. THAT would be interesting.

17) Do you have any writing rituals?

Procrastinate until the last minute.

18) What’s your favourite ball?

Any of the balls featured in “Paris is Burning”.

19) What’s your favourite swear?


20) What question should I have asked you?

“Do you enjoy your life?”
Answer: “I guess so.”


Gavin Emsworth at The Pygmy Giant

My brother sent me an email about a twunty colleague of his and I liked some of his lines so much I took ’em and turned them into a flash which the lovely folk at The Pygmy Giant have just published. It was fun to try and write in my brother’s voice and shape it into a wee story; I just hope his workmate doesn’t happen upon it and recognise himself.