15: Vivek Shraya, "God Loves Hair"

It's December 15. Vivek Shraya, author of She of the Mountains and editor of The Magnificent Malls of Edmonton, was always more of a Clippers fan anyway.

How would you describe your story?

VIVEK SHRAYA: God Loves Hair is a collection of coming-of-age stories about a genderqueer child growing up in Edmonton (Mill Woods!) with immigrant Hindu parents. The advent calendar features a sampling of that collection.

When did you write it, and how did the writing process compare to your other work?

VS: I wrote these stories in 2009. It was a significant shift for me to be writing prose as up until then, my main artistic medium was music (and songwriting). 

What, for you, are the essential elements of a good short story? 

VS: This is probably trite, but I think a good short story needs a great, punchy beginning and ending. Particularly the first and last sentence.

Did this story require any research?

VS: These stories are largely based on my own experience, so there was no research involved. What was required was granting myself permission to move outside fact and to add detail, because I found a purely factual retelling was flat.

Where can people go to learn more about you and your work?

VS: vivekshraya.com 

@vivekshraya

What's on your Christmas list this year?

VS: Time.