Voices of the past and present and yet to be discovered… As a young girl I was swept up by the sexy brooding Heathcliff who lorded over the moors in Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë. Also Wilde and Dickens. Though, I must say, I have been particularly drawn to the writers of the American South for their predilection to melancholy and nostalgia and for their complex, flawed, dynamic characters, especially the works of Tennessee Williams.

For a brief junction in my early life I wanted to be a playwright and have read all of the plays of Tennessee Williams, Eugene O’Neill, Pinter, Arthur Miller and countless others. And although this desire never came to fruition, writing has always been an escape, a companion and something I am compelled to do. We as writers write because we must.

Other influences have been Malcolm Lowry, and his masterpiece Under The Volcano, which took him ten years to complete. Salinger and Vonnegut. Also Andre Dubus and Donna Tartt. I am currently reading her novel, The Little Friend. I admire her lush, rich use of language. I especially like Mary Gaitskill for her raw-edged reflections on living everyday lives. Lauren Groff’s short story collection, Florida, impressed me with its many dark shadows cast upon the sultry Floridian landscape.

Kate Folk is a young San Francisco based writer with a fresh voice who has a novel and short story collection forthcoming, which I intend to read. I just finished a collection of stories from Jacob M. Apple, The Topless Widow of Herkimer Street, which is very good and am about to read the Dutch translation, The Discomfort of Evening by Marieke Lucas Rijneveld. And for all you writers unknown to me at present … I hope to meet you soon.