For the last three years he has been working on a novel, Dig, with the consistent encouragement and occasional well-deserved kickings from tutor and classmates of the Advanced critical workshop for creative writing at City Lit. As a result of their 'support', I have changed names, ditched happy endings and undergone narratorial gender reassignment, whilst stubbornly clinging to second person narrative and chronological chaos. Exerts from the novel have appeared in the Between the Lines anthology. The novel is set in California in the mid-nineteenth century. I have never been to California, which made things a bit tricky, I consoled myself with the thought that no-one else has been there during the Gold Rush. Now I've started working on a new novel, it's set in London, where I have lived for the last 25 years, and in Devon, where I grew up. Now. Easy. Short stories slipped out when me and the novel were on a break.
Andy Gaskins in 60 seconds
When did you start writing?2000 London England
What do you love about Short Stories?I love short stories because they can hold a single idea like water held in my cupped hands. A precious moment.
Do you write in other forms?Novels
What distracts you from writing?Actually, it's the beer.
Outside of writing, what are your other passions?Beer, my wife and my two girls. No particular order.
What is your favourite book?All the light we cannot see
Who are your favourite writers?Peter Carey, Philip Roth and David Mitchell
Where is your dream location?London
What one item would you put into Room 101?Kids TV
Do you have any advice for new writers?My advice would be to set time aside every day and just write. Preferably long hand to keep the editing urge at bay.
Work by Andy Gaskins:
Cut Back Flat
Double the rent or half a flat. Your choice. "Cut Back Flat ‘Bit of building work, Miss. George sent us round.’ George is the landlord, and for a moment I entertain some unlikely concepts. Things like upgrade and home improvement run through my mind, pushing darker thoughts down. There are two of them, both men obviously. They troop into my flat in a pile up of battered metal boxes and lengths of sawn timber. One is older, in his 50s, sort of lumpy, not fat but fleshy with exaggerated features. His shoulder length hair is slicked back to the point of recession. The other one could be my age, but is probably younger. He has that gaunt look acquired through serious and dedicated smoking, yellow fingers and teeth to match. They are both in white overalls, though the younger one has somehow rolled his down and is wearing them like hipster jeans, an inch of toned stomach between the waistline and his black tee shirt. He grins lopsided when he catches me looking. They start in the front room with a line drawn down the middle of the bay window. The column of concrete which divides the four panes is struck through in no time, but then the radiator underneath poses a problem, and they are seized by a fit of contemplation. There is a lot of head shaking. Teeth are sucked, pencils gnawed. They unroll a set of plans, consult in mumbles and hisses. More head shaking, loud exhalations through pursed lips. I try to get a look at what’s on the paper, but from my tentative perch on the sofa, the maze of lines bears no resemblance to my mental framing of home..."
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