S H A U N A M C K E N N A
|Where are you located?
On the Internet. Real estate in the northeast skyrocketed, I pared down, hopped online. It’s a little stuffy, but the view’s fantastic.
How far will you roam for literary-related fun and excitement?
I went on a road trip from New York to Philadelphia. I have since gone on similar trips in the opposite direction. Accordingly, the exact distance I will travel for literary-related fun and excitement is 87 miles.
What are you working on?
A history of shoehorn elves, a dissertation on the reincarnation of the novel, a cookbook for professional pedestrians, and an encyclopedia of cats.
What’s your font, and why is it sexy?
Courier. I promise a return to the basic self, the first self, the primal self, the naked self, the asking self, the wanting self, the hoping self, the unmarred self, the prepubescent self, the pre-ejaculate self, the shorter self, the sincere self, the dreaming self, the unspoken self, the unwritten self, the unified self, the fragrant self, the hungry self, the lucid self, the limber self, the classless self, the boy self, the girl self.
And: I deliver.
What’s the sexiest vowel-consonant combination? Please demonstrate how this sexiness works in a specific word’s favor.
The first thing that came to mind was “wa,” as in “want,” as in any number of unintelligible moans. But then I realized that “wa” is acutally a dipthong-vowel combination. So then I thought “ha,” as in “hot,” as in “hold me,” as in “hard,” but, you guessed it, not a vowel-consonant combination after all. No. Aspirant-vowel. So, sheepishly, predictably, I’ll have to say “ca,” as in “cock” or “come.”
Does writing about sex make you want to have sex?
Maybe a little.
Does having sex make you want to write about sex?
Without a doubt. It also makes me want to write about cherubs and good chocolate.
Does writing about sex make you want to write about sex?
That depends on the success of the first effort. When it’s good, I can write, oh, six, seven times; when it’s flat and perfunctory, I might not finish at all.
Does having sex make you want to have lunch?
Not so much. It does make me want to have cherubs and good chocolate.
What do you want for Christmas?
Like most Christian-born intellectuals, I observe the Christmas holiday only for the sake of my parents. I sit in front of the football game planning the first section of my next novel; I eat glazed ham and wonder how Proust would have rendered the scene, if he would have focused on the meal itself or lingered on the game of “Pictionary” afterwards.
For Christmas, I want only an end to kindred hypocrisy. And cash.
Do you ever run your fingers along the pages of an open book as a substitute for self-gratification?
Only if I wrote it.
If you could fuck a book, which book, and why, and in which position?
Have you ever entertained sexual fantasies about a literary character? If so, please describe your date.
Edward Bast. He sees me and he doesn’t see me. He walks in a shadow, and I feel my own shadow moving outward, veiling me. We go to dinner. He talks constantly. I nod. He talks about literature, and art, and the uselessness of time. I nod. Unexpectedly, he waits for me to beckon home, he is shy, he needs to be pulled by the wrist, close.
Have you ever slept with the editor of this site? If no, please explain.
I heard you need contractual representation before he’ll advance.
When you try to pick someone up at a reading, what’s your favorite literary euphemism?
ME: Hey. I’m feeling, um, a little, Emily.
HIM: What’s that?
ME: Dick in, son.
Whose books do you save for bedtime reading in the hopes that the author will visit you in your dreams? If this has ever worked, please describe the nocturnal encounter.
No. No, it hasn’t.
Has having had your writing appear on websites ever led to bouts of uncontrollable cyberfucking with perfect strangers?
No. No, it hasn’t.
When overhearing someone else’s sexual encounter, do you (a) put a pillow over your head, (b) grab a pen and paper and try to phonetically capture the experience, or (c) read aloud (as loudly as possible) from Middlemarch?
(c) Substituting anything by Iris Murdoch.
If you could write yourself into a book, which book, and how would your appearance sexually charge the text?
I’d write myself into any of Cormac McCarthy’s Border Trilogy. I would rush from my post at the town library, bell skirt flapping, the top button of my prim cotton blouse falling loose, and I’d plead, “Dont Billy. Dont.” And the desert would ache hard as he paused to consider.
To what degree has responding to this questionnaire dampened your enslaving valley of love?
Not enough. Thank god for Herman Melville.
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