Grady May is a retired Marine, former restaurant owner, and recent graduate of the University of North Florida where he studied creative writing and... other things. When he figures out his major in life, he'll let you know. He currently lives in Northeast Florida with his wife and three - soon to be two - of his four children.
Why do you write?
Because it lasts. I got tired of losing good ideas (to me, at least) to a faulty memory, and that's clearly not something that improves with age. More importantly though, since becoming a parent relatively late in life, writing will hopefully fill in some time I may not be able to share with them.
What other creative activities are you involved in?
Currently, I'm compiling a list of phrases I never thought I'd utter, like, "Stop licking the porch," or, "Why are you kissing the bannister?" But that's less of a creative project and more of a chronicle. I had a previous career as a military musician, but have long since moved on from performing, or even practicing. Writing gives me a great way to reconnect with that side of myself.
Who is your favorite author and why?
Gary Lutz for the amount of attention he pays a sentence. I enjoy any writer who can keep me reading through the dreariest, most dismal subject material through their manipulation of the language, but Lutz is a master of this. Whenever I'm feeling inadequate about the level of craft in my writing, I read a Lutz piece to see just how short I come up.
Tell us about the mechanics of how you write.
I start with a basic idea, then conceive a skeletal outline. From there, it's a layering process of filling out various aspects of the piece. I strive to get the plot or structure down first, then characters, followed by basic dialog. After that, I go back into the piece to make characters say and do more interesting things. Then I try to say it in an interesting way.
Finally, what do you think about Carp, the fish, not our website?
You lurk down there like some sort of lazy, mesh-wrapped zeppelin. Yes, I see you ignoring me. I've landed others: smaller, brighter, faster. Overture after shiny neon overture spins past your mouth, mocking the cash I've dropped on such silly aquatic trinkets. I hear you're a waste of time, and it's obvious I don't know what I'm doing, but you're huge. Then the neighbor scatters some cheap cat food into the water and your little mouth japes into greedy action. Can you put a hook through dry cat food?