JESSIE KNOLES interviews CHELSEA MARTIN

ARCHIVED G-CHAT, MONDAY SEPTEMBER 26, 2016 4:37 PM

Jessie Knoles

hey chelsea!

Chelsea Martin

hi jessie

how are ya

Jessie Knoles

i’m pretty swell just looking at wool socks (page 21 now). how are you

Chelsea Martin

wool socks? like to buy?

Jessie Knoles

yeah. i have paypal money which is kind of like not real money to me so i’m looking for things to buy and i need socks

Chelsea Martin

lol cool

i love socks

giphy-4

Jessie Knoles

i wish i could knit that’d be easier

Chelsea Martin

I’ve always wanted to buy knit stuff from this girl: http://allknitwear.com/collections/small-knitwear

Jessie Knoles

these hats are amazing! i bet people who wear them get a lot of attention though

which is kind of terrifying to me

Chelsea Martin

yeah maybe

i like the sweaters

Jessie Knoles

they’re nice.

what state are you in

do you have harsh winters

Chelsea Martin

i just moved to spokane washington

i think the winters are medium, not sure

Jessie Knoles

i’m not sure either. i live in seattle so i think they’re pretty different climates.

i think eastern washington can get cold.

what are you doing in spokane?

Chelsea Martin

yeh i think it will snow a lot

i don’t know..

nothing

its really random that I’m here, just had to pick a place to live and its really cheap here

Jessie Knoles

you were in michigan before right?

giphy-4

Chelsea Martin

yeah i was in michigan for a year and a half, before that california since birth

Jessie Knoles

had you been to spokane before?

Chelsea Martin

I’ve been a couple times because my boyfriend’s family lives close to here. i never really liked it

have you been in seattle a long time

Jessie Knoles

just two years

it’s okay

i’m not sure if i like it yet or not though

i think it’s hard to make friends in most places maybe

Chelsea Martin

its a lot cooler than spokane

yeah, I’m having that problem

giphy-4

Jessie Knoles

yeah i can’t imagine living in spokane really

is it close to moscow idaho?

moscow seems pretty cool

Chelsea Martin

i think its a couple hours

Jessie Knoles

damn

do you go hiking ever

that’s what i’ve been doing over here

Chelsea Martin

a little. outdoors stuff is big here

Jessie Knoles

i’ve never lived in a city before so i think that’s why it’s kind of hard for me socially

Chelsea Martin

yeah, its awkward anywhere, as an adult

Jessie Knoles

have you been working on any projects? writing?

Chelsea Martin

I’m getting back into it. moved twice during summer so didn’t write much. but I’ve started a new project

its a slow start kinda

Jessie Knoles

what kind of project? you do a lot of different art and writing, right?

Chelsea Martin

its a writing project. i am sort of considering making it a graphic novel type thing but probably it will just be writing

giphy-4

Jessie Knoles

did you draw before you started writing or have you always done both

Chelsea Martin

i went to art school thinking i wanted to do painting, but then quickly realized i didn’t want that, tried a bunch of things and ended up loving writing

I’ve always written poems and stuff but never really considered that it was something i wanted to pursue or anything

Jessie Knoles

how do you think you’ve gotten such good reception as a writer? it seems like you were in this whole “alt lit” stuff but you also seem to be very much your own thing and separate from “internet writing” (or at least in my mind you are for some reason)

like where do you fit in all of that and has the internet helped develop your reception as a writer

that may not make any sense

Chelsea Martin

i think i understand

umm

i guess, in my mind, I’ve never felt like i fit in to the alt lit crowd or any other internet crowd. i really like these internet writer circles and i think I’ve benefitted from being affiliated with them or friends with people. but i also never really cared to be known as being part of a group.

the internet has been great for me. i think i had luck finding cool people early on who wanted to support me and that was really encouraging

is that what you meant?

Jessie Knoles

yes totally. i think that’s what really matters. finding people who like believe in your writing and want to take you on tours or published a piece or book or whatever.

Chelsea Martin

yeah it makes a big difference if people are actually reading what you put online

Jessie Knoles

do you think being a writer will be any different living in spokane

Chelsea Martin

i don’t think writers will come through here for readings here.. probably ever

that will be the main difference. it was nice being in the bay area and even ann arbor has a lot of people coming through all the time

but i think there are writers here, idk. i went to a poetry open mic thing and i thought it would be horrible. but like 40 people came out to see their friends read poems and cheer. it was actually kinda cool to see

giphy-4

Jessie Knoles

yeah that sounds really nice. i think the hardest part is just going to readings without knowing people maybe

but once you meet people, it’s easier

Chelsea Martin

yeah

its really awkward

Jessie Knoles

do you read a lot of stories / poetry

do you have like ‘favorite writers’

Chelsea Martin

most of what i read is nonfiction. like memoirs and science writing. novels. i read less poetry books than like, online poetry for some reason

Jessie Knoles

i guess that makes sense. i like to buy poetry books but i also try to read things online. whose memoirs have you liked

Chelsea Martin

i just read molly brodaks book Bandit. i loved it so much

um i really like celeb memoirs? lol. i just read amy schumers and really liked it. jessi klein. my friend chloe caldwell’s new book I’ll tell you in person

Jessie Knoles

i really liked ‘women’ by chloe. you guys had gone on a tour together right? i feel like i remember that.

Chelsea Martin

yeah a couple times. she’s the best

Jessie Knoles

you are kinda tied to like her and ee [elizabeth ellen] and sorta mira [gonzalez] in my mind. how did everyone meet each other?

giphy-4

Chelsea Martin

lol yeah. ee brought us together. her publishing co short flight/long drive published a book by each of us

so we’ve toured together to promote each others books and we just like hanging out so sometimes we’ll just do a trip for fun. we all went to miami together

Jessie Knoles

that was the tampon thing right? [http://www.hobartpulp.com/web_features/who-stole-my-tampons]

Chelsea Martin

hahah yep

Jessie Knoles

did you move to michigan because of ee?

it seems like a cool place.

Chelsea Martin

yeah

yeah michigan is pretty cool, i liked it

Jessie Knoles

would you ever move back to california

Chelsea Martin

i really wanted to move back to california this summer and was trying to find a way. but its sooo expensive.

and i work freelance right now so it kinda doesn’t matter where i live, like i won’t be making more money living in california

so it seemed better to live somewhere cheap idk we’ll see

giphy-4

Jessie Knoles

what do you do freelance wise? i know you’ve got universal error, right? i feel like you’re associated with that.

everyone seems so expensive. seattle is really expensive too. and i don’t work in the tech industry so it’s hard.

Chelsea Martin

yeah i do UE but I’m doing graphic design for an emoji app currently

yeah seattle is expensive. i wanted to live there too

Jessie Knoles

woah that sounds fun. how did you get into graphic design?

do you design your book covers?

Chelsea Martin

I’ve designed my book covers but for Mickey we got the cover art from another artist but i did the like, design still.

Jessie Knoles

do you have a writing process? i’ve only read ‘even though i don’t miss you’ and it seems like a lot of bits pushed together.

Chelsea Martin

most of my work has that quality.

Jessie Knoles

is that indicative of how you write? i imagine a lot of different pieces of paper or napkins on a desk and then you piecing everything together.

Chelsea Martin

oh i write it all in a word document.

usually stuff gets moved around a lot, at the end ill print it all out and move it around physically just to make sure things are in the correct order

but i don’t think a lot about order when I’m writing. i mean sometimes theres a story line so obviously i think about that, but i don’t care, when I’m writing, what part I’m writing or where it will end up in the story, usually

giphy-4

Jessie Knoles

what would you consider your writing to ‘be about’

Chelsea Martin

all of it?

Jessie Knoles

it seems like your past two books have been about relationships or at least an individual in a relationship

so like….internal writing or sorts

Chelsea Martin

yeah i think relationships are super interesting. somehow i have a lot to say about romantic relationships, but i am also really interested in relationships of other kinds. family and friends.

and i think the internal monologue is really important to me. i think that is a through line in all my work, probably, or most of it.

how a person thinks of themselves etc

Jessie Knoles

i think that is pretty defining of your work and also a lot of contemporary writing

i wonder why

Chelsea Martin

it seems more authentic maybe, than an authorial voice

Jessie Knoles

definitely. i wonder if the internet has a role in that kind of writing style. like, blogging etc

like growing up with livejournals or whatever

Chelsea Martin

right, yeah, probably

or spending a lot of time in isolation online

giphy-4

Jessie Knoles

exactly

Chelsea Martin

did you have a live journal

Jessie Knoles

yeah i did for a little while

i wish i could remember the url

Chelsea Martin

haha probably better you can’t

sounds horrifying

Jessie Knoles

yeah it does. a few years ago i ripped up my old journals from middle school / high scool

they were terrible to read

i think i only thought about boys

Chelsea Martin

yeah i did that too. it was a hard decision but it had to be done

Jessie Knoles

it’s weird now though because people will have readings where they read their own entries and they seem so great and funny and now i can never really make fun of myself because i couldn’t get past being so embarrassed

what did you think when you were 25

Chelsea Martin

yeah. i don’t think mine were funny but maybe I’m wrong

Jessie Knoles

i’m turning 25 this week and i’m kind of feeling weird about it

Chelsea Martin

aw

im 30

25 is a good age

giphy-4

Jessie Knoles

what did you think when you turned 30

did it feel less weird than 25 maybe

Chelsea Martin

hmm probably more weird to turn 30

but only because all my friends turned 30 before me and they all went through their 30 crisis

i think being 30 is cool

Jessie Knoles

it seems really cool

but i have this problem of thinking every age but mine will be cool

Chelsea Martin

but being 25 is fun. like u don’t have to be responsible fully yet. or you can still get by saying you’re figuring things out

Jessie Knoles

yeah totally, that is true

i do that with my parents a lot

Chelsea Martin

but 30 its like, well, i should probably think seriously about saving money or something

Jessie Knoles

which is why you’re in spokane?

is spokane like a transition or maybe you’ll stay there for awhile

Chelsea Martin

I’m hoping spokane works out.. I’m sick of moving. but I’m not stuck here or anything

its been like 2.5 weeks so i have no plans to move

Jessie Knoles

do you feel settled in now

giphy-4

Chelsea Martin

yeah, i guess. we got a really great apartment, the nicest place I’ve ever lived. so i feel comfortable.

also the cheapest place I’ve ever lived

Jessie Knoles

that’s crazy. my partner and i are trying to move out of seattle by the end of the year. i am kind of scared to be in a less populated area. just job-wise.

but i like the idea of being able to afford a place again and maybe have a yard.

Chelsea Martin

yeah thats the thing! jobs are hard

Jessie Knoles

jobs are really hard. but it seems yours are online right? i wish i had computer skills etc to just work online

it seems ideal

Chelsea Martin

yeah its pretty sweet. but also makes meeting people harder

Jessie Knoles

yeah true. i think i’m kinda bad at meeting people regardless. is spokane big?

i always want to pronounce it spo-cane

giphy-4

Chelsea Martin

its small.

Hahah

Jessie Knoles

i’ve honestly never interviewed someone before so i hope it’s not a bad time right now? like i don’t know how many questions i need to ask or whatever.

Chelsea Martin

lol yeah its cool i like it when its more casual

i feel comfortable

also gchat interviews are pretty cool

Jessie Knoles

yeah i like this but i feel like i’m just talking wit ha friend and not like asking enough about writing or whatever

has mickey been well received? it came out this summer right

Chelsea Martin

i don’t know how its being received. fine i think. its hard to know. no one really tells me what they think of it. i don’t know how many have sold or anything

Jessie Knoles

how often do you do readings

do you like reading in front of people

Chelsea Martin

hmm.. hate doing readings, usually do 5-10 per year.

i think doing readings is really good for networking w writers.

or having an excuse to visit somewhere where you want to meet people

or like touring with a couple people you want to know better

but standing up and reading is awful

giphy-4

Jessie Knoles

i agree. i’ve only read like 3 times and i think i’m getting progressively worse at it.

i’m too nervous about them.

Chelsea Martin

it never gets easier!

one time i smoked weed before a reading,

which, i very rarely smoke weed, i don’t really like it

and especially when i have to talk to people i don’t know very well. because i get very self conscious and internal

but anyway i did

and it was like the funnest reading ever, like i just amused myself so much. and i read for way too long but i didn’t even care if anyone was annoyed

it was amazing

Jessie Knoles

i’ve always wanted to smoke before a reading but haven’t yet

i usually get too drunk and then read really quickly and then not really recall how it went

which i don’t think i’ll be doing anymore

giphy-4

Chelsea Martin

lol yeah

klonopin is also good. its like alcohol but not sloppy

Jessie Knoles

i’ll remember that. i feel like i want that for my dentist appointment tomorrow.

seattle has a lit crawl at the end of october which is usually pretty fun

Chelsea Martin

are you participating

Jessie Knoles

no, just going to go

Chelsea Martin

cool. i don’t think I’ve been to that. just the April one

Jessie Knoles

sometimes i’m really bad at leaving my house

about chelsea martin

chelsea martin paid $100,000 for a BFA

she has published four books:
mickey (2016)
even though i don’t miss you (2013)
the really funny thing about apathy (2010)
everything was fine until whatever (2009)

also, she is the creative director at universal error

~featured art by isa beniston, featured artist for issue 15~

Advertisements
Vagabond City Literary Journal

Founded in 2013, we are a literary journal dedicated to publishing outsider literature. We publish art, poetry, and creative nonfiction from marginalized creators.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s