A Bookish Conversation with ‘Loss Angeles’ Mathieu Cailler
Mathieu Cailler is a writer of prose and poetry. His work has been widely published in national and international literary journals. Before becoming a full-time writer, Cailler was an elementary school teacher in inner-city Los Angeles. “I came to writing in a rather circuitous way. I always penned jokes for stand-up comedy appearances but later realized it wasn’t just comedy that applealed to me, but all writing.” A graduate of Vermont College of Fine Arts, Cailler was awarded the Short Story America Prize for Short Fiction and a Shakespeare Award for Poetry. His chapbook, Clotheslines, was recently published by Red Bird Press. LOSS ANGELES is Cailler’s first full-length book.
For More Information
- Visit Mathieu Cailler’s website.
- Connect with Mathieu on Facebook and Twitter.
- Find out more about Mathieu at Goodreads.
Q: Thank you so much for this interview, Mathieu! Can you tell us where you are from?
Thank you for having me—happy to be here. I’m from Los Angeles. More specifically, I was born in Long Beach, spent some time in Huntington Park, and am in now in the SouthBay.
Q: How did you come up with your title?
I noticed that all my stories seemed to have loss as a general theme—in subtle and not-so-subtle ways. Then, one day, I discovered that I always seemed to root a story in L.A. in some fashion. The rest, well, the brain gives you gifts sometimes.
Q: They say you can judge a book by its cover. Can you tell us a little about your cover and who designed it?
Do they say that? I was always told not to… but I agree it is human nature, right? Ha. The cover image was snapped by a dear friend of mine, Chaz Cipolla, atop Butcher Hill, a location where I’ve spent a great deal of time inhaling this city.
Q: Can you tell us something about your book that would make me run out and buy it?
I wish I could. But here’s all I got: Loss is the greatest bond we all possess as humans. There isn’t a single person who hasn’t experienced it. I think a reader will enjoy the comfort of this—and come away from Loss Angeles possibly more connected to him or herself.
Q: Are there any messages in this book that you want the reader to know about?
No secret messages. Just to remember in the words of Plato—“Be kind, for everyone is fighting a harder battle.”
Q: What was your most favorite story to write and why?
All the stories are dear to me. The characters swam through the folds of my brain for far too long to isolate a single piece.
Q: Why did you feel you had to write this book?
I’ve always loved short stories—the immediacy, the fact that every moment counts, and the way they (usually) can be savored in a single sitting.
Q: Now, some fun questions – What deep dark secret would you like to share with us?
Oh, wow. I had an imaginary friend, Patrick, until I was about nine.
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
Lately, I’ve been fascinated with Iceland.
Q: Are you a morning person or a night person?
Q: Are there any members in your family who also like to write?
My grandfather loved to write. My father always tells me stories about he would read and write late at night, and that image has always stuck with me.
Q: As a child, were you a dreamer?
Oh, yes. Still am. Paying attention was—and still is—hard for me. I have the doodles to prove it, too.
Q: Last but not least, the magic genie has granted you one wish. What would that be?
Lakers tickets would be nice, I guess. Courtside, next to Jack Nicholson.
Q: Thank you so much for this interview! Do you have any final words?
Thank you very much for taking the time. I hope you enjoy Loss Angeles.