How different is Home Schooling to the other books you have written?
The stories in Home Schooling are darker, I think. I hope they're richer and more complex.
In what way is it similar?
All three of my books share a west coast setting and all three are concerned with ordinary people and the way in which dreams and the imagination rework reality. Many of the stories are told from the point-of-view of a young woman and this is true of the novel, as well.
When you look at the history of the short story, you notice that the number of magazines that publish short stories has declined. Why is this?
It's been said people are too busy to invest time in a story that will end after 20 or 30 pages, just as the reader gets to know the characters and setting. Fortunately there are still magazines that publish and encourage short story writers and there are fabulous writers like Alice Munro, Lorrie Moore, Charles D'Ambrosio and many others who are reaching a wide audience.
How can the writer of short stories make a living from them?
Only a very few writers can make any kind of a living from writing short stories. In fact, most fiction writers have to subsidize their writing at least some of the time with other work or with grants or with the generosity of their partners and families.
From your own experience, how easy or difficult is it to write short stories compared to longer works of fiction like novellas or novels?
I think it's completely possible the same amount of toil and angst goes into each of these forms, although for some reason I have the idea a novella would be the most difficult to write.