Episode 209: The Internal Process of Writing — Interview with Maxine Rosaler

by Gabriela Pereira
published in Podcast

Hey there word nerds!

Today I have the pleasure of hosting Maxine Rosaler on the show!

Maxine has had fiction and nonfiction published in some pretty prestigious markets including (but not limited to) The Southern Review, Glimmer Train, and The Baltimore Review. Her stories have also been cited in editions of Best American Short Stories and Best American Essays, and  she is the recipient of a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship for Fiction.

Her first published long form work, Queen for a Day, has been called both a short story collection and a novel in stories, and is available now.

Listen in as Maxine and I chat about finding the story at your core, and how to meld your unconscious and conscious minds to enhance your writing.

In this episode Maxine and I discuss:

  • A novel in stories vs. a short story collection.
  • Tricks to tap into your unconscious during the writing process.
  • Why quality is more important than quantity in what you read.
  • Discovering the right names for your characters.
  • The responsibility of a writer to turn the world’s ugliness into art.

Plus, Maxine’s #1 tip for writers.

About Maxine Rosaler

Maxine Rosaler has had fiction and nonfiction published in The Southern Review, Glimmer Train, Witness, Fifth Wednesday, Green Mountains Review, The Baltimore Review and other literary magazines. She is the recipient of a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship for Fiction, and her short stories have been cited in editions of Best American Short Stories and Best American Essays.

Maxine’s first full length work of fiction, the short story collection Queen for a Day: A Novel in Stories, is now available.

To learn more about this amazing book check out its webpage at Delphinium Books.

Queen for a Day: A Novel in Stories

Long before there were real housewives or extreme makeovers there was the 1950s television show, Queen for a Day, where women trapped in domestic tragedy competed to win refrigerators and stainless steel silverware. This existential circus of irony is the inspiration for Maxine Rosaler’s short story collection, Queen for a Day, which examines imperfect women living under enormous pressure.

Mimi Slavitt always knew in the back of her mind the reason for her son Danny’s uncontrollable behavior—even if it was something that she and her husband had long denied. For too long she had comforted herself thinking their therapist was right when he said Danny didn’t have “anything you could pin a label on,” even after babysitters and nursery schools rejected him based on behaviors that were too wild. Now, after the official diagnosis of autism, Mimi finds herself in a world nearly as isolating as her son’s. It is a world she shares only with mothers like herself, women chosen against their will for lives of sacrifice and martyrdom.

Searching for miracles, begging for the help of heartless bureaucracies while arranging every minute of every day for children who can never be left alone, the women whose stories illuminate Queen for a Day exist in a state of perpetual crisis, normal life always just out of reach. We meet these women, each a conflicted, complex character totally unsuited for sainthood and dreaming of the day they can just walk away. Rosaler tells their stories with remarkable humor and heart-wrenching pathos as they confront the bitter reality and confront the endless struggle to fight for a better life for their children—and themselves.


If you decide to check out the book, we hope you’ll do so via this Amazon affiliate link, where if you choose to purchase via the link DIY MFA gets a referral fee at no cost to you. As always, thank you for supporting DIY MFA!


Link to Episode 209

(Right-click to download.)

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