Private: Introducing Terry Bain

Terry Bain lives in Spokane, Washington, with his wife, two children, and one dog. After becoming acquainted online a little less than a year ago, we recently met in person, in a group of writers acquainted through Zoetrope’s online studios. Terry put everyone at ease from the get-go. He was concerned about Pia Ehrhardt’s grandmother. He held Shauna McKenna’s baby. He wasn’t pissed that no one was able to sit with him for an hour during his stint at New York is Book Country.

Bain’s You Are a Dog is forthcoming from Random House, and is based in part on “Ergo, You’re A Dog,” which appeared last year in Sweet Fancy Moses. His fiction has appeared in three separate issues of The Gettysburg Review, and in O. Henry Prize Stories 1994, Exquisite Corpse, Clackamas Literary Review, All-Story Extra, Book Magazine, GutCult, Opium Magazine, and All-Story Extra. These days he writes and teaches for Gotham Writers’ Workshop.

In The Gettysburg Review, Terry talks about the process of writing “Pediatrics,” which appeared in the Autumn, 2000, issue of the magazine, and started as a different story altogether:

I finally realized that if I was going to finish “Pediatrics,” I was going to have to separate it from its relationship with the original story. The two weren’t fitting together well anymore, and I was making concessions in both in an effort to manage the dual plot lines. So I made the son much younger, hid him, and forced myself to forget everything I knew about the characters, going back through the story and very nearly redrafting it from the beginning. And I was finally able to finish “Pediatrics” in the form you see here. As it happens, the original story languishes in a file folder.

Beyond writing, Bain designs book interiors and jackets. Samples are available on his site.

Given his experience with print and online publishing, you might expect Terry to have insights into the future of publishing. He does. In an interview with Wired about e-books, he said:

What I wish would happen would be more people reading better books. Hell, I wish more people would read anything. I also teach, and I can’t tell you how discouraging it is to stand in front of a classroom and ask how many of my students read and have one or two of them raise their hands. One or two of them. Maybe three. This is what nobody’s talking about. And the Internet and technology moguls don’t even approach this kind of problem — yet. This is my wish for the future –that they do approach this kind of problem with a fraction of the passion with which they suck money.

I hear that.

Some of you will recall that Terry stepped in briefly last Friday, since I didn’t have a guest lined up. He was kind enough to take over today, too. Happy Halloween, everybody.