Just One Question is a new series in which I pose just one question to a Hot Pants author about their work. This episode features Jeff Landon whose flash collection Truck Dance was published last year by Matter Press. In this collection Jeff never fails to impress with a cast of utterly lovable characters trying hard to be loved.
Jennifer: We crave fiction with trouble in it. So many of the characters in Truck Dance have made mistakes, experienced failure, and seem to carry around meaningful regret. Yet, we see clearly that each of them has maintained their dignity–something not everyone in life is able to do. I think we’ve taken the maxim “failure is not an option” a bit too far. What do you think?
Jeff: If failure is not an option, we are doomed. To live is to screw up, in big or small ways, over and over, and then, to repair. Some regrets, of course, hit harder, and stick around longer. We make mistakes, we hurt people, and ourselves, in so many ways around here. But if we care about people (even strangers) and honestly do feel regret, it levels some of the harm. In fiction, I like the idea of taking decent people, and dropping some trouble into their lives, because, you’re right, we do crave that. It’s sort of like there’s this huge community of people out there, joined by failings and hurts, and they sometimes find each other, and they understand that, oh, here, have some ice cream, let’s go for a walk, let’s dance around, let’s get through this.
Jeff’s book can be purchased at Matter Press.