Chris Bachelder, "Deep Wells, USA"

It's December 7. Chris Bachelder, author of U.S.! and The Throwback Special, has cut the mayor just about enough slack.

How would you describe your story?

CHRIS BACHELDER: "Deep Wells" is a loud, restless, manic play, featuring quick cuts and childish shouting. Many voices swirl satirically around a quiet center. In this center is grief and pain and fatigue.

When did you write it, and how did the writing process compare to your other work?

CB: I wrote "Deep Wells" in 2000 or 2001. It's one of my earliest stories. Though I was a much more antic and unrestrained writer in those days, I think my general mode was similar. Once I found my form and premise, I attempted to do two things: 1) Generate comic material; 2) Try to locate heart and feeling beneath the satirical storm.

What kind of research went into this story?

CB: I lived in the USA for three decades.

What, to you, makes the short story a special form? What can it do that other kinds of writing (novels, poems) can't?

CB: I regard the short story as a revelation machine. It's a kind of brutal technology. In its form it applies so much pressure that something invisible is suddenly made visible.

Where can people go to learn more about you and your writing?


What's on your Christmas list this year?

CB: I'm having a lot of trouble with raccoons, so I'm asking Santa for a large cask of predator urine.

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What did you think of today's story? Use the hashtag #ssac2016 on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to check in with your fellow advent calendarians.

Michael Hingston