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Deathmatch round 5 is in swing and we’ve got a tender Q+A from the writer of The Big Everything. Trailing behind in his semi-final round, James C. Stouse spills what he thought of round one, the struggles of a writer, and the comments slung at his non-existent wife.


What was it about the Deathmatch that lured you in?

Well, I’m always looking for ways to get stuff I’ve written out into the world and I liked the idea of a short story competition driven by online voters. I thought it would be a fun way to get people to read my story and see what they thought.

How’s your writing life been up till now?

My writing life has been a lot like my life life, full of lots of little disappointments and unexpected opportunities. I’ve given up predicting how anything is going to happen. I just try to write a little everyday without hope and without despair.

What did you think of round one? Was it what you expected?

Round one filled me with anxiety. I expected criticism but a lot of the comments devolved into personal attacks as the week went on. I’ve noticed that in other rounds as well. The moderator of my round made a comment implying that my wife made a mistake by marrying me. I don’t have a wife.

What are you hoping to get from the Deathmatch?

Like I said, I just wanted people to read my story. So I’ve already gotten what I wanted. I’d also like to see my story in print.

Any plans you have for the next round or two that you care to spill?

I’m going to try and detach my emotions from the contest a little more. I’m the sort of person that forgets the positive feedback instantly and remembers the bad things people say forever. And I don’t want to get into mudslinging with another writer. I think the world at large is already so indifferent to writing and writers. We need to support one another as much as possible. Not call each other names.