Intermissions Author Q&A: Elle Lane

Elle Lane is an undergraduate writer and artist originally from Kansas City, Missouri. Her style is a combination of Queer Literature and Southern Gothic, and her fiction and poetry are a form of Biomythography. Elle Lane is a proud trans-woman and her work often delves into the theatre of gender. She has published in SOS Art Cincinnati, Issuu Magazine and Field Trip Art Blog. She was a keynote speaker at the Reiss Colloquium.

What is your writing process?
My writing process is spontaneous, chaotic, and for whatever reason can only ever occur at 1am. I usually get inspired from interactions I’ve had with the people around me or from reading news stories. I like to have some human element behind my work, because ultimately I believe that the reality around us is more profound than any work of fiction.

Tell us about your story for the anthology. Where did your idea for ‘The Sacred Heart’ come from? Were there any challenges writing it?
‘The Sacred Heart’ is inspired by the tragic story of a real-life trans woman who suffered a very similar fate. At the time of writing, I was in a very similar place to her with my relationship to my family – so I empathized with her situation. It ultimately was a very hard piece to write, emotionally, because of the emotional place it required of me. I found some catharsis in exploring those fears, however. Sometimes if you are simply able to name a fear, you give yourself the ability to overcome it.

Your story explores the complexities of who people are versus how others choose to remember them after death. Is this a subject you’ve written about before?

I write a lot of work about death. I think it’s one of the great meditations of our mortal lives. Ultimately the act of writing is one that transcends life, so I think it’s a natural fit. Being surrounded by Catholics, the imagery of death really defined my childhood. None of this is new, obviously, but I think ‘The Sacred Heart’ explores it from a very unique angle. There’s a lot of examination of the machinations behind death: preservation, legal proceedings, all the parts of dying we never think about. When I find an angle like that, I have to type it out.

Tell us about your favourite reads. Why do you like them?
I’m a huge fan of the Southern literary tradition, here in the states. Writers like Donna Tartt, Gillian Flynn, and William Faulkner are what I really aspire to and what I most enjoy reading. I live on the border of North and South and you can feel the leylines of all that conflict beneath the soil. While the violent prose of Southern Gothic/Romantic can be hard to get into, there is such a beauty to those works once you get over that hurdle.

How did you hear about GSP?
I’m always looking for foreign literary press, because I’m always looking for new and interesting work. I stumbled across GSP and was really blown away at the beautiful design and the diversity of the fiction published. Of course, the university connection is also a huge draw – as I feel that student-run literature is a bit more experimental than your more traditional publications.