From Our Current Issue: Q&A with Jessica Van Devanter

Little Patuxent Review just released its Winter Issue (available for purchase at this link). Each week we’ll highlight some of the content from this issue. For this week, we’re looking at Jessica Van Devanter’s short story, “Bolo Tie.”

Van Devanter is an emerging writer living in San Diego, California. She is currently enrolled in the creative writing program at University of California San Diego Extension, working toward a Professional Certificate in Creative Writing. In addition to LPR, her stories have been published in Gone Lawn Journal and The Ocotillo Review.

Van Devanter was among many of our readers who traveled long distances for our launch in Columbia, Maryland two weeks ago. We don’t take that for granted and are very grateful. We look forward to reading more of Van Devanter’s fiction in the future.

Q: What a trip the bolo tie takes you and us on in this story. Can you describe your writing process a bit?

The process of writing “Bolo Tie” was not so different from the experience of the main character. I was feeling hemmed in, and looking in my closet. My Grandpa actually did have a bolo tie, though not like the one described in the story. I was imagining it, imagining wearing it. I was laying on my bed and watching the ceiling fan, and the fantasy began to spin out in front of me and before I could lose myself in it I thought “I have to write this down!”

Q: Why did you decide to come to Maryland for the LPR launch?

When I received the email from editor Steven Leyva that “Bolo Tie” had been accepted for publication, he also invited me to the launch party. When I had finished my celebratory flailing and cheering, I took another look at the LPR website and was impressed by the professionalism and strong cohesive vision that came across. I knew I wanted to meet these people, and I was not wrong. The LPR is an impressive publication because it is made up of impressive people. The warmth and creative spirit that filled the room during the reading were the likes of which I will not forget.

Q: What was it like for you to give the reading?

The LPR launch was my first reading for a publication, and to say I was nervous might be an understatement. But once Stephen Leyva and Susan Hobby took the podium, I was glad I came. They gave an air of comfort and familiarity that told me I was in the right place. What more could a burgeoning writer ask for than a group of encouraging and inspiring artists with smiles and infectious laughter?

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