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Monday, 24 August 2015

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: David Pickford, After the Crash

Moonrise above a cloud inversion in the high Khumbu, Nepal (october 2007). © David Pickford 

Ahead of the publication of his new book, After the Crash, David Pickford gives an insight into his thoughts about his new collection of short stories.

What inspired you to write a short-story collection?
I've written short stories for years. I think they're a very powerful literary form. Some of the stories in After The Crash, including the title piece, have been published before in the quarterly American climbing journal, Alpinist. But I had a selection of previously unpublished stories, some of which were climbing or mountaineering related and some of which were not, and I thought it would be a good idea to put them together as a collection. 
 
What experiences did you draw upon while writing the book?
When you write anything creative, you draw upon everything you've ever experienced to build atmosphere, character, and situation. Six of the nine stories in After The Crash are either about climbing, mountaineering, skiing, or mountain experience in general. I've spent more than two decades - most of my life - absorbed in these things. So naturally I've used my own experiences of adventure to build up the stories of adventure in the book, and to give life to the characters who define them. 
 
Can you tell us about the stories, do they evoke similar themes?
As the author, it's not really my place to say whether or not they do. I'll leave that to the book's readers. But you could say the ambition of all the stories is to create glimpses into encounters and situations that are removed from normal human experience.  
 
Were you influenced by the work of any other writers?
Among recent writers, I'm an admirer of the work of Barry Lopez, Peter Matthiessen, Haruki Murakami, Jorge Luis Borges, and Cormac McCarthy. But like any prolific reader, I've been influenced by a lot of different writers from different periods. 
 
Which story is your favourite and why?
I don't have one, actually. All the stories have a different mood and context. I hope readers of After The Crash and other stories enjoy all the various shifts and turns and surprises of this book. 
 
Tsaranoro Be from the summit of Karimbony, Tsaranoro Massif, southern Madagascar (April 2008). © David Pickford 
 
Meadow above the Tsarap river in an incoming thunderstorm, near Phuktal, Zanskar Range, northwest India (August 2006). © David Pickford 
 
Monument Valley, Arizona, USA (April 2010). © David Pickford 
 
Dave Pickford is the author of two Vertebrate Publishing books: The Light Elsewhere: Encounters with the elemental world and After the Crash and other stories. You can read more about Dave’s work on his website. Blog images taken from The Light Elsewhere.

 

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