Q: You’ve been pretty absent for the last five months. What have you been up to?
Q: Would you like to share your progress with your readers?
A: I wrote a bit of a novel and two short stories.
Q: That’s great. Hopefully we can look forward to seeing them somewhere soon.
A: Oh no, I haven’t submitted anything. I’m letting them mature on my hard drive until I feel secure about their quality.
Q: When do you expect that to happen?
A: I’m quite optimistic that it will be before the heat death of the universe.
Q: Moving on to the novel, how would you say that’s going?
A: Why are you asking so many questions?
Q: Well, that’s the point of an interview. When you agreed to speak to me–
A: Agreed? We’re twenty seven floors up, I’m duct taped to my chair, and the door is locked. You swallowed the key five minutes ago with a swig of carrot juice. And what looks like a meniscus of primordial evil is starting to creep up my shoes.
Q: Please pay no attention to Frank. He gets sad if I leave him behind. Now, about the novel. Would you say you’re on track to finish by the end of the year?
A: Unfortunately I’m somewhat behind my – please get him down, the existential dread is staining my trousers, and these are dry clean only – my target. If I really push forward, I may be able to finish by next March. But I’m also keen to submit some short stories by the end of the year, so if I can do that then I’ll be pleased.
Q: But to do that you would need to actually decide that they’re finished.
A: I also have a novelette!
Q: Is it finished?
A: No, I think it may be a novel in disguise. I’m hopeful that I can come back to it next year. Definitely this decade.
Q: So to summarise, you have made no tangible progress.
A: I suppose you could say that, but if you look at my use of figurative language I think you’ll find it much improved to a year ago. And structurally my stories have become much stronger. I do sometimes lose the voice of a story, and I’m turning my focus to that.
Q: I’m sorry, that’s just not good enough. I’m afraid I’m going to ask Frank to eat you.
A: No! The moistness of his pseudopod is on my ankle… the pearly glisten of him reflects my face back to me, horribly distorted with fear and perhaps a little longing. Please, my heart is beating like a hummingbird’s wings. I can feel my disappearance in my future like my shadow cast before me by the setting sun. Have mercy. Mercy! Won’t somebody think of the poor adjectives?