We had the good fortune of connecting with Patrick Stockwell and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Patrick, how do you think about risk?
For me, risk is an inherent component of success as a creative person. Since opportunities to push your work forward professionally are few and far between, it is often necessary to create spaces for yourself where you can share your work and, hopefully, make a little money while you’re at it. I’ve walked away from an established, comfortable life on more than one occasion in the hope that the sacrifice would reap a greater reward. And, sometimes, that decision paid off. But I don’t regret any of these choices, even the ones that turned out to be setbacks, because the goal remains in front of me. It’s never out of sight.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
The stories I write are about loss and addiction and feeling out of place. They often take place in locations that are far away from home or somewhere along the road to nowhere. I am incredibly proud of my novella, The Light Here Changes Everything, published just last year by Texas Review Press. The success I’ve seen did not come easy. I’ve lost or given up almost everything in order to achieve it. I think the way to overcome any setback, or multiple setbacks, is to just keep getting up and trying. There are days when you make zero progress. This does not mean you should stop trying. Every day you don’t give up counts as progress.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Pre-pandemic, my favorite spots here in San Marcos are Zelick’s Icehouse, Dos Gatos Kolache Bakery, Wake the Dead Coffee House, Garcia’s Mexican Restaurant, and Mucho Taco for quick TexMex. In New Braunfels, just southwest of here, I like to support Baan Oy Thai And Vietnamese Cuisine, Krause’s Biergarten and Cafe, Bosses Pizza, and the Phoenix Saloon. Where available, I try to continue my support for them by ordering takeout.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
A literary life is built by many hands. I would not have made it very far without my mentors Antonya Nelson, Rus Bradburd, Greg Oaks, and the great Lee K. Abbott. Also, my editors Lisa Tremaine and J. Bruce Fuller at TRP deserve a huge thank you for helping bring my work to life. I want the world to know that there’s lots of great work out there by independent presses and the authors they support.
Jesse Garcia, Joshua Cantu, Chris O’Brien