An Interview with Adam Jernigan

An interview with alum Adam Jernigan (fiction, ’15) appears at Quilt:

Where did the idea for ‘Ward’ stem from?

It started with the line “I’m the one killed them kids,” which just came into my mind and stayed there until I wrote the story that went with it. I’ve had other stories begin that way, but this one at least had plenty going on in that one line: the confession to a crime, and, for better or worse, dialect. I wrote the original draft in my first MFA semester. My supervisor, Michael Parker, had pointed out that most of my stories followed a very linear timeline. ‘Ward’ became an exercise in breaking that habit through significant flashbacks that were not introduced with a space break. I forced myself to play with the story’s time and its transitions. Also during that first semester, my mom asked me if I’d ever write a story with a happy ending. ‘Ward’ was my smart-ass answer. Though as I continued to work on the story, I came to feel that it does have a happy ending—at least as happy as I can manage.

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