Friday, November 26, 2010

On the Seventh Day of Tesseracts: An Interview with Jerome Stueart

Your name: Jerome Stueart

Your current location:  Whitehorse, Yukon Territory

Name of your story: "One Nation Under Gods"

TT: What inspired you to write your story? 

Four things, only slightly related.

1) I was substitute teaching one day and a student asked me why we needed to know history at all. 

2) In my home country, the US, patriotism when linked with religion often wants to rewrite history, and make that "new" history sacrosanct. The idea of God, the faith of people, had a huge impact on the making of the US, that I wondered what might change if God had been visible and walking around...and so I gave America the gods she deserved: Freedom, Patriot, Liberty, etc., the ideals we revere.

Since these gods would be so active in History, it seemed logical that History would become religion.  And if so, I thought that this History would be required in all schools--for survival--but be taught like the Bible.  

3) Standardized testing in schools, like the TAKS in Texas, are controversial, forcing every student in a grade to pass that test or not pass that grade. 


4) My sister. We are very close.   

TT: Since this collection is about Strange Canadian Stories, what is one of the strangest things that has ever happened to you personally?

I was fourteen or fifteen, a pencil portrait artist in front of a Piggly Wiggly grocery store. I often struck up conversations with strangers, to get them to sit for a portrait, or just to talk.  It was nice when someone stayed and talked.  I remember a girl my age and her mother stayed one day to talk and talk to me; they said the strangest things. I would ask them questions about their lives, and their answers just didn't make sense.  But I believed them anyway, because I was friendly, and you do that.  They said they were waiting on the woman's husband to come pick them up. I must have spoken to them for close to an hour, and then my parents picked me up.  Later that day, apparently, a man in a truck did come for them, and together, they robbed the store at gunpoint.  

TT: A strange question you would like to ask other authors? It will be used in the Bitten by Books event on December 2nd.

If suddenly, all the world's leaders were shuffled around, whose world leader would make the most interesting person to lead Canada?  
BIO:  Jerome Stueart was always fascinated by the north.  He ran from Texas to the Yukon to experience it firsthand, loved it, and moved there. Since then, he's been a janitor, a trolley conductor, a communications officer for the Arctic Institute of North America, a vaudevillian, a deacon, a stats surveyor, a cartoonist, a teacher, and, sometimes, a writer.  His work has been published in Fantasy, Strange Horizons, Geist, Joyland, Icarus, three Tesseracts anthologies, and he's a frequent contributor to Yukon, North of Ordinary, the Air North in-flight magazine.     

PS.  Photo is by Ian Stewart/Yukon News

1 comment:

  1. I just want to say that I really enjoyed "One Nation Under Gods".

    -Pat J, author of "Heat Death"