Q/A w/ Michaela Rempel

As a part of an ongoing Q&A session with the Creative Writing and Literature Department’s Senior Reading Class, Jackalope Magazine sat down with Michaela Rempel. Rempel discussed “Nighthawks,” never turning off her brain and played MFK with science fiction giants.


Rempel reads with Jade Parks and Adriel Contreras at 7 p.m., Tuesday, April 28 in O’Shaughnessy Performance Space.

Michaela Rempel in the senior reading class describes her writing as noir. Photo by Ash Haywood

Michaela Rempel in the senior reading class describes her writing as noir. Photo by Ash Haywood


Jackalope Magazine: How dare you?

Michaela Rempel: And I would have have gotten away with it too if it weren’t for you meddling kids!


JM: How did you get into writing?

MR: When I was a little kid in school I liked stories, but I thought you could only write them for school. Then in the fifth grade I wanted to write something, so my mom said “just write it then,” and I was like, “you can do that?!” So I started writing in my free time and that was it.


JM: What genre do you work in and why?

MR: I’d say I default to noir, because that’s just how I think. But, I’ve written fantasy, western; right now I’m into science fiction. For the most part [my stories] always sound like someone is in a diner relating it to someone.


JM: Why do you think that is? What draws you to noir?

MR: I think perhaps some of it comes from having parents who owned a piano store. I always loved Jazz. I loved Gershwin. Something about the image of “Nighthawks,” these guys sitting in a fish tank bar, was just my brain. I love that little box. There’s room for so much stuff to happen in there.


JM: What three words would you use to describe your writing?

MR: Dear God, No. (laughs) No. Edgy. Buddies. And, maybe, I don’t know. Decadent? I guess it’s kind of decadent. We’ll go with that.


JM: What’s the worst thing you’ve ever written?

MR: I had a vampire thing, and it wasn’t that the idea was bad, it was just written like crap. I had this idea of making vampirism like cancer, it was a disease. Reading it, there was a little too much Eragon in it. It was bad.


JM: How do you balance work and family?

MR: Because of the way my brain functions, I always have to be learning something new. So, even around my family, that’s just kind of how my work goes. My brain is never turned off. Work is on, I just kind of turn down the volume.


JM: Since you are currently writing science fiction, this edition of MFK will center around that. Marry, Fuck, Kill: Phillip K. Dick, William Gibson and J. G. Ballard.

MR: Ooooh. I’d have to kill Phillip K. Dick, because he’s insane. Maybe marry Gibson and fuck Ballard. Ballard writes good villains. Gibson, his brain works like mine. We’re both ADHD and caught up with extraneous details. Maybe that would be a bad thing and we’d end up killing each other, but it would be fun while it lasted. (laughs)