This week we put our five questions to How To Whistle author Gregg Shapiro:
Would you like to introduce yourself as a writer? My name is Gregg Shapiro. I was born in Chicago. I received a BFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College in Boston. My poetry and prose have been published in a variety of literary journals, anthologies and textbooks. I am the author of two short story collections – How to Whistle (Lethe Press, 2016) and Lincoln Avenue (Squares and Rebels, 2014). My chapbook Fifty Degrees was selected by Ching-In Chen as co-winner of Seven Kitchens Press’ Robin Becker Chapbook Prize and will be published in May 2016. I am also the author of the chapbook GREGG SHAPIRO: 77 (Souvenir Spoon Books, 2012) and the poetry collection Protection (Gival Press, 2008). I make my living as an entertainment journalist for an array of regional LGBT publications and websites.
Summarise your latest book from Lethe in five words! I’ll do my five word summary of How to Whistle in three words: Universal queer fiction.
What’s the secret to your writing? Locking yourself away and writing a disciplined word count, or waiting for inspiration to strike? (Or something else entirely, of course…) There is no secret to my writing, although as a deadline-driven journalist, my process has definitely evolved over the years.
If your house is on fire, what book do you rescue? (Forget about your loved ones, they can save themselves…) I have too many favorites to choose one. As someone who once won a 108-second shopping spree at Strawberries Records in Boston, I’m capable of carrying many things in my arms.
Finally, let’s pay it forward. Recommend one gay-lit writer we should be reading right now. (Or any writer, if you prefer.) For me, the most enduring gay writer is Andrew Holleran. I don’t think contemporary gay lit would exist without him.