On January 18, 2015, on the final day of the upcoming residency, the MFAC program will have a Graduate Recognition ceremony, honoring the men and women who have just completed their studies and will receive an MFA from Hamline University. Between now and residency we’ll be posting interviews with many of the grads. Eddy Giorgi is today’s grad; he lives in Rhode Island and can also be found on Twitter: @Eddytothemax.
What do you do when you’re not working on packets?
When I’m not working on packets I am: reading comics, watching cartoons, listening to music, playing board games, and trying to have as much fun as loudly as possible.
How did you hear about the Hamline MFAC Program?
I heard about it through Kelly Easton and Liza Ketchum. I worked with them here in Rhode Island as part of ASTAL, a summer writing conference.
What was your writing experience prior to entering the program?
My writing experience was creative writing classes in high school and in my undergraduate college. Besides that, I wouldn’t write unless I had started something in school, while not paying attention and would continue with it if it piqued my interest.
What do you especially remember about your first residency?
I remember flying in the night before and seeing the Twin Cities all lit up and crying, because for the first time in a long time I felt like I was doing something right. It was beautiful. Then I remember landing and being completely surrounded by a community of like-minded people and thinking I was in heaven. I had never felt so little like an outsider in my life.
Have you focused on any one form (PB, novel, nonfiction; graphic novel) or age group in your writing? Tried a form you never thought you’d try?
I have focused on realistic YA novels, which I didn’t think I would. I always figured if I wrote this much I would be writing all sorts of fantasy epics and crazy stories about robots and ninjas. Instead, I have written about realistic kids and have loved it.
Tell us about your Creative Thesis.
My creative thesis is a realistic YA novel about a boy named Barrett who wants to commit suicide. The only thing stopping him is guilt, and the fact that he doesn’t want to hurt people when he finally kills himself. He wants to make it easy on them. My ultimate goal is to make the character human, and the story not as dark as it seems. What I would like to do is make depression and suicide scary without having people be afraid of it. When people think of depression and suicide it is all sadness, but even depressed people crack a joke, whether it be with people or at themselves. The jokes can also hide things and be genuine. So I want people to laugh with Barrett rather than ignore him like he wants.
What changes have you seen in your writing during your studies?
I have gotten much more in touch with my emotions. It has made my writing more compelling and less like a simple progression of events. The characters are becoming more human and can be empathized with.
With packet deadlines removed as an incentive, do you anticipate it will be harder to keep writing? Any plans for your post-Hamline writing life?
Most definitely. I am going to hire someone to yell at me, most likely.
Any thoughts for entering students or for people considering the program?
If you don’t put your heart into it, it’s a waste of time. That goes for what you say, what you write, how you treat people, and how you go about this program. If you don’t put your entire heart and who you truly are forward then there is no point. It doesn’t matter if you write a 500 page emotional journey of a group of kids or you make a fart noise when you’re by yourself just to get a laugh. Learn here and add it to who you are, and put who you are into what you learn here.