Inky Interview: Author Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois from Denver, Colorado

Describe your journey towards becoming an author.

I published my first short story in the school magazine when I was in the fourth grade.

Tell us about your novel Two-Headed Dog.

Two-Headed-Dog is a wild romp. Hank Ribinthal, psychologist in a state mental hospital, falls in love with one of his chronic-schizophrenic patients, Tiffany. When she escapes he sets out to find her. Escapades follow.

You live in Denver. What is the literary scene like?

No idea. I keep to myself.

Have you been awarded any literary prizes?

I never apply for prizes, because they usually require a fee. But I did submit a flash fiction to 4W, the magazine of the Booranga Writing Centre (Australia) and they awarded me their 2017 Prize for Fiction. It was quite a surprise.

What do you care about? What themes keep cropping up in your writing?

The intrusion of the irrational into the rational world.

What is it you love about flash fiction, as opposed to other forms of writing?

I’d written seven novels, gotten a couple of agents (not simultaneously) but was unable to get one published. Novels are very difficult, time-consuming projects. I thought I’d go back to poetry, my first love. Poetry led to flash fiction. My poetry tends to be prosaic, my fiction poetic.

Describe a typical day in your life

Not too interesting. I get up, read (usually zen books) and meditate (zazen). Then I’ll go to the gym for a couple hours, or for a long walk around the lake. Then I might do some writing or writing correspondence (like this) or work in my garden. You might be able to tell that I’m retired 😉 From 11:30 to 5:30, my wife and I take care of our granddaughter. We’ve done that from when she was three months old, while her ambitious parents work.

If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?

Get rid of ego, greed, hatred, confusion. And all the bizarre, irrational, ancient mythologies (such as Judaism, Christianity, Islam) that cause so much grief in the world.

Who inspires you and why?

The students at Parkland High School in Florida (whose school was attacked by a shooter) who stood up and demanded stricter gun laws, in spite of attacks on them by the NRA.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Work through your karma—that’s all you can do.

Tell us a story in five words.

He aspired to write haiku.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Same advice everyone gives—read a lot, write a lot, live a lot.

What are you reading at the moment?

The Great Gatsby—can you believe I’ve never read that? So far, I’m not too impressed.

What is next for you? What plans have you got?

I’d like to put together a collection of flash fictions—I’ve had over 500 of them published. And I’m still trying to get an agent or publisher for my last two novels. Creatively speaking, I’m in a bit of a dry period right now.

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