Vanessa Blakeslee


An Interview with Vanessa Blakeslee, by Celia Johnson

There isn’t one unifying factor to tie together the stories in Vanessa Blakeslee’s Train Shots, and therein lies its appeal. Each story is its own universe, a vivid and sometimes graphic arena, where characters deal with break-ups, violence, suicide, and more. Blakeslee, a Slice alum,  doesn’t shy away from the gritty underbelly of life, though she also pinpoints in dark moments elements of hope. I spoke to Blakeslee about her superb endings (you’ll carry them with you), her disparate subject matter, and her creative process.

A train driver who hits a woman on the tracks, a mother dealing with a violent son, a man who has lost his lung… Your stories are broad-spanning, and yet you offer intimate details about each character. Which characters do you feel closest to in this collection, and which were the most difficult to capture?

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