An Interview with Ron Riekki

Your story is set in prison, producing quite a tense and precarious atmosphere for its characters, paramedics tending to inmates...what inspired this story?
I've worked in a couple prisons. And my current coworkers have worked in prisons. So you talk about stories from those days. And then let things go into fiction territory.

Which writer or body of work has shaped your own writing and/or reading? 
I like a lot of the writers found in Cult Fiction: a reader's guide. I found that book in the Harvard Coop and it changed my life, or at least my writing life. I found authors in there who write transgressive fiction that has consistently shocked me in a good way—it was like an AED to the cardiac dysrhythmia that is so much of the (yawn) academic short stories that get presented to you in high school and college.

Read Ron's short story "O" in our current issue.