Peter / Furniture Maker


For every story in That’s When the Knives Come Down, I’ll interview a person who has a related profession. I’ll ask a few questions about their work and a few questions connected to the themes of the story.

When completed, the combined interviews for all twelve stories will be roughly the same length as a movie you might see in the theater. Which is to say: why am I doing this.


But really. It’s foolish: the interviews only tangentially connect with my work and are somewhat tedious to create. They’re sort of long and don’t lend themselves to casual consumption. Truly, there isn’t a good reason for me to be making a feature-length movie about other people’s jobs, but here we are. I have no idea what I’m doing.

Here’s how it happened: when my story collection went up for presale, I spent a lot of time reaching out to people and telling them about the book. Self-promotion is all well and good, but it doesn’t come easy to me and often leaves a stinky music in my heart. It can feel unnatural, sort of pointless, and (obviously) self-centered. In a strictly practical way, promotion bugs me because it’s demanding work (or at least time-consuming work) that doesn’t always produce something tangible or of value. (This unsettled me so much that I’ve made sure to promote destroying the book as often as purchasing it, both to balance the scales and take this work to its natural conclusion.)

Of course, I knew I would need to continue promoting the book, but I wanted that process to be less about me, if that’s possible, and for it to create something of lasting value. I decided to focus on other people, on their work, and how it feels for them to be here in the world.

So: this is an interview with a furniture maker named Peter.

It is for the third piece in That’s When the Knives Come Down (a story called “Interior Design”) but has almost nothing to do with it. Perfect.

Previously, Electric Literature kindly ran an interview with a goat farmer, for the story “Infestation,” and an interview with a cruise line employee and a tow truck driver, for the story “Euclid’s Postulates.”

You can get the book here

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