I also remember you saying once that you feel like some of your writing is weird fanfiction of scenes in movies, so I wanted to know if in King of Joy there were any other movies besides Spring Breakers that you were tipping the hat to.

For sure. Just as much as this book is inspired by a thousand books, I worked at a movie theatre for seven years, so I’m a huge movie geek. I love translating other things to other things. I love translating a camera shot or a scene into prose, and what that actually looks like on the page, because I think with a visual media there’s so much that’s just inherent in the single shot. To me, I like to take a very studied approach to how that interaction is from viewer to screen, and then figuring out how to mimic that with atmosphere and tone, and cadence and musicality, with the reader and prose. It’s not quite a fine science, but I do try to see things more on an X-Y-Z axis.

What’s really important to me, that I also love in film, is the situational irony. The tension between what the author knows versus what the characters know, versus what the reader eventually knows at the end. I think the discrepancies and then tensions between those three different knowledges (with the writer knowing everything) is very special and a lot of fun to play with. Especially in films when there’s a plot twist or a sudden surprise, usually I study whether that twist was cheap or if it was already kind of embedded in the story for you to discover. I think it’s very important for the reader to feel like they discovered everything for themselves. I think it creates a bigger intimacy with the text for the reader.

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