J. Bradley is the author of Dodging Traffic (Ampersand Books, 2009), the author of the flash fiction chapbook The Serial Rapist Sitting Behind You Is A Robot (Safety Third Enterprises, 2010) and the Interview Editor of PANK Magazine.
TSRSBYIAR was released August 20th in a limited edition of 65. You can read an excerpt at Kill Author.
BS: Where did you grow up?
J. Bradley: Like most Floridians, I was born elsewhere (MA to be exact). However, 24 out of my 31 years were spent in Orlando, FL.
BS: Describe The Serial Rapist Sitting Behind You Is A Robot as a collection. How are the pieces connected?
JB: TSRSBYIAR is a halfway point between Dodging Traffic and a short story collection I'm working on now. Some of the pieces were written while I was still married, while others were written during my divorce. It's a sign of things to come as I return to fiction after a 15-year hiatus away from it. There is birth and there is wishing for death at the end with an interesting middle, creamy or meaty depending on what you are into.
BS: TSRSBYIAR is a departure for you because it's the first time you've written prose poetry. How did/ does that feel?
JB: It feels awesome when it comes to writing fiction again. I've been involved in slam and poetry for so long, I needed a change. I realized I can get away with more in fiction than poetry. You can be poetic in fiction but there should be a good beginning, middle, and end.
BS: Is your approach different when writing prose poetry versus writing traditional forms of poetry?
JB: Poetry is delicate and powerful. There's not a lot of room to fuck up in poetry so you have to be careful. Fiction allows me to explore some really fucked up concepts that poetry has no room for.
BS: Who was the last person you made cry?
JB: Myself. I write less poems because of what I'm still healing from. When I write a poem, it takes a lot out of me emotionally because of the raw honesty in the poem. I write more fiction now because of it.
BS: You're widely published. What literary journals are doing a good job?
JB: Anyone that publishes my work is doing a good job.
BS: What is your favorite sentence in the book?
JB: "It didn't take long for Paul to turn my wedding band into a bullet."
BS: Do you have a favorite robot?
JB: Optimus Prime
BS: What are you reading right now?
JB: Laura van den Berg's What The World Will Look Like When All The Water Leaves Us (DZANC Books, 2010).
BS: You do a lot of traveling for readings and recite several of your pieces from memory. Can you explain the emotions that are involved with your delivery of words in different locations, in front of new faces?
JB: When I was touring in support of Dodging Traffic before the disintegration of my marriage, missing my ex-wife helped me focus my performances. For about a month, there was a time where I wasn't sure I wanted to perform again and my doubts and sadness affected my performance. When I started writing new stuff, I started memorizing it, connecting with it. In my sets now, I do mostly post-separation work and it takes a lot out of me to do it but it's what I'm connected the most with. One day, I won't perform such gut-wrenching work. Until then, just call me the grand marshal of the hurt parade.