As I’ve mentioned in the past, one of my favorite authors is Chuck Palahniuk, who happens to be an expert at minimalistic writing. His books are some of the finest in modern literature and his tone is more unique than most I’ve encountered.
The following is an interview from October 16th, 2006, conducted by Jeff Sartain for Strange Horizons. In this interview, Chuck discusses his minimalistic approach to writing and how it started.
A former semi-truck mechanic with a degree in journalism, Chuck Palahniuk broke out as a major figure in American literature shortly after David Fincher adapted his first novel, Fight Club, into a film starring Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, and Helena Bonham Carter. Two more of his books, Survivor and Invisible Monsters, were immediately published coinciding with the release of the film, and a meteoric rise to literary fame began. Proving he wasn’t a one-hit wonder, Palahniuk published Choke in 2001 to rave reviews and massive public acceptance, debuting at number ten on the New York Times Bestseller List.
Since Choke, though, Palahniuk’s fiction has taken a decidedly darker turn since he contracted with Doubleday to produce a triad of horror novels.Lullaby, Diary, and, most recently, Haunted make up his initial speculative fiction offerings. Palahniuk is currently working on a book of essays about his minimalist style of writing, which is the culmination of two years of a public Writers Workshop that he held at his official website. This summer he is also finishing his eighth novel, Rant, which is his first foray into science fiction, due out in mid-2007.
I caught up with him in Chicago on the paperback tour for Haunted, a novel made up of twenty-five short stories and poems linked by a unifying frame-tale. Included in Haunted is the controversial and wildly popular short story “Guts,” which has been causing people to faint and vomit at his readings since he first premiered it while on tour for his collection of journalism, Stranger than Fiction. “Guts” was recently selected to The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror Eighteenth Annual Collection, edited by Ellen Datlow, Kelly Link, and Gavin Grant.
You can find the rest of the interview here: http://www.strangehorizons.com/2006/20061016/palahniuk-int-a.shtml