RS: You run Full Stop, which is a great home for reviews, interviews and all things literary and great. How did you first come up with the idea for that publication?
AS: There’s a long answer to this question, about how I’m not so good at first impressions or meeting people or whatever you want to call it, but Jesse Montgomery and I hit it off right away about how I wanted to get better at writing and editing but was too scared to write and edit and needed to create something that would make me do both and how I didn’t really like most of the literary criticism that was being published online and how I was young and totally lost and didn’t know what I wanted to do or who I was or anything, really, and how I missed college and wanted to find a way to stay connected to people I cared deeply about and, hell, how I wanted to stay connected to literature, which I cared just as deeply about, how I wanted to be a part of the literature I cared deeply about.
But the short answer is that Jesse Montgomery and I got drunk and then we invited some other people we liked to get drunk with us and we’ve all been keeping each other company, getting drunk, for just over four years. I'm drunk right now, in fact.
Through your work with Melville House, you've entered into some pretty amazing battles with Harper Perennial. Do you have a favorite?
I tend to try to provoke Olive when I’m having a bad day or had a bad night and need something to make me feel good about publishing, or just the world in general. The fact that I turn to someone who consistently throws mad shade at me probably means I should see a therapist. (Also, I think Olive and I are the only people in the world who see nothing flirtatious about those interactions. The people who want to publishing brands to get it on are sick and gross and must be stopped.) Picking a favorite battle is like picking a favorite child, if you didn’t know the names of your children or remember anything about them. Dressing up as Harper Perennial for Halloween was fun, though.
What can people expect from your reading?
I’ve kept pretty quiet about this, but I recently moved out of New York. I’ll be reading an essay about why I left and where I’m living now.