Peter W. Fong works as a freelance editor in Aruba and a flyfishing guide in Mongolia. His stories and photographs have appeared in American Fiction, Gray’s Sporting Journal, The New York Times Sophisticated Traveler, and many other publications. Over the past fifteen years, he and his family have lived in Pray, Montana; Woodstock, Vermont; Tokyo, Japan; and Shanghai, China.
Peter earned an A.B. from Harvard College and an M.F.A. from the University of Montana. He won the 25th Anniversary Fiction Prize from Soundings East magazine and took second place in the 2005 Raymond Carver Short Story Contest. He is also the recipient of an individual artist’s fellowship from the Montana Arts Council and a former Moran artist-in-residence at Yellowstone National Park.
What inspires you to write?
Fear, mostly. Every time I pick up a pen or sit in front of a keyboard, I’m afraid that I’ll have nothing to say.
Tell us about your writing process.
I write at a glacial pace. A few words at a time. Revised, corrected, then revised again. And I still have a hard time getting things right.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
When I’m really working hard, I try to carry the last completed sentence in my head when I fall asleep. Sometimes the next few pages get written in dreams. Then I carry the next phrase with me as I make my morning run.
What advice would you give other writers?
Don’t give up on the characters you love or the places that haunt you. There are worse things to do with your time than to spend it thinking about words.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
Although many of today’s e-books bypass the traditional author-publisher relationship, I didn’t publish this book myself. Mainly because I know that I wouldn’t be good at the job. I’m good at putting together a mango salsa while listening to a Red Sox game on the radio. And also good at floating down a river while casting a fly that looks like a mouse to a trout as long as your leg. Neither of these skill sets really translate to self-publishing.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think it’s confusing. Personally, I love the feel of paper and the artistry of book design.
What genres do you write?
literary fiction, travel
What formats are your books in?