Asha Gupta: What is your background in writing?
Jacob Fons: Well, I don’t have any “formal” training if that’s what you’re asking. I’ve spent most of my life as a singer/songwriter traveling the country, living in parking lots, trying to simply make it day by day, you know all the glorious stuff that comes along with the music industry. I finally gave all that up a few years ago or so and I guess just kind of went into creative limbo for the past two years. When the creative voices began talking to me again, I knew I had to do something so I began telling stories on paper instead of through music.
AG: Your SOS piece, Sushi at Midnight, introduces an interesting perspective, where did the inspiration for that piece come from?
JF: I guess I wanted to take the simplest emotion, place it in the most extreme circumstance, and see where it led me. You know what’s kind of funny, when I began pitching this piece to publications, editors told me it wasn’t right for their magazine (which I expected), or, I got a handful of editors upset with me for writing this piece, or should I say, “not finishing this piece” as they said. I kid you not; I got long emails, which I still have from truly upset editors who told me that Sushi at Midnight was not finished. They were also kind enough to tell me how to finish it. I had to laugh. They thought it had no meat to it, it should have gone deeper, into Jeremiahs story, why he was in prison, where was his wife, the relationship between the priest and Jeremiah, you know that kind of stuff.
AG: Talk about Jeremiah, who is he to you?
JF: I think Jeremiah is much more of an emotion, than he is a person. I believe with Flash-fiction, at least for me, my job is to simply illustrate an emotion. I try to express the feeling on your drive to work on a Monday morning, how you’re feeling before a first date or an inmate’s last meal. I put myself there as best I can, and put it on paper.
AG: Is most of your work Flash-fiction?
No not everything. I seem to go through phases with my writing, between short stories, and flash-fiction. I think I have about an even number of published short stories as I do published flash-fiction. I guess it matters which day you catch me on.
AG: Where can readers find some of your other works?
JF: You can find a link to all my stories on my LinkedIn page
AG: Can you talk about any other projects that you’re currently working on?
Well I’m working on a book of short stories called Stories from 32nd Street. It’s mostly fictional pieces, but there are a few creative non-fictional stories as well. It’s where I grew up, on 32 nd street, in the inner city of Milwaukee, so I have a lot of experiences to choose from. I have stories ranging from getting in trouble with the law as a teenager, to drug addiction, to block parties, to swimming in flooded sewage rivers. There was never a dull moment. I’m talking with a few publishers.