Describe your latest book.
My latest book is a short story collection called Vampires in the Lemon Grove. Many of the stories are about monstrous metamorphoses — teenaged bullies in New Jersey, captive Japanese women converted into factory machinery, vampires in recovery. Human subjects converted into objects by violence.
What fictional character would you like to date, and why?
I'd like to date Bone from Russell Banks's Rule of the Bone. Provided that I, too, were 14 years old — it would be a little Mary Kay Letourneau to date him now, at age 31. Maybe Russell Banks will write a sequel where Bone is an adult man on a Jamaican schooner and suitable as an imaginary love interest? Because I love that character. His put-on swagger and his anger and his complete vulnerability.
What's the strangest or most interesting job you've ever had?
For several years I worked as a receptionist at a veterinary clinic in New York City, a job I really loved and repeatedly failed at. At first I'd considered training as a vet tech, before it was revealed to me that none of my love ...