This is an interview I recently conducted with Katherine Scott Nelson, author of Have You Seen Me, KSN’s debut novella. It’s available via an awesome ‘pay what you can’ system at the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography, and I highly recommend you check it out. In addition to getting consistently positive reviews, it’s a Lambda Literary Award finalist. Check out KSN’s website and, once again, download Have You seen Me. Hir bio is online here.
REBECCA KLING: How long have you been writing?
KATHERINE SCOTT NELSON: I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t writing, and I decided I was going to be a writer when I was pretty young – probably grade school, if not earlier. I also grew up in an unusual household – my parents ran a home-based graphic design business, back in the early 1980s, when nobody did this – and the house was always full of papers and inks and adhesives and stencils. So my sister and I grew up making our own picture books from scraps of material and old art supplies that were lying around. One of our grandparents was a working artist, and we watched our parents spend all day writing and drawing and making things, so “I want to be a writer when I grow up” didn’t seem that abstract or unattainable to me.
(It would as I got older, though. I’m still kind of stunned that all these things are actually happening.)
RK: How has growing up in/around Chicago impacted your experience as a queer person and/or as an author?
KSN: Being queer in and around Chicago is completely different now than it was 10 or 15 years ago. Fifteen years ago, when I lived in the semi-rural northern suburbs, I was really suffocating. I kind of wrote off the entire Midwest when I moved out to San Francisco. But every time I came back to visit, there’d be more visibly queer folks, more local advances in LGBT rights, and finally things reached a point where I started to wonder “Why am I in San Francisco again? What could I be doing there that I can’t do here?” Continue reading 'Interview with Katherine Scott Nelson, author of Have You Seen Me'»