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House Guest with Shawn Vestal: My Two Hats

In House Guest, we invite Ecotone and Lookout authors, cover artists, and editors from peer presses and magazines to get comfy and tell us what they’re currently working on, to discuss themes in their writing or unique publishing challenges, to answer the burning questions they always hoped a reader would ask. We kick things off with our first house guest, Shawn Vestal, whose stories have twice appeared in the pages of Ecotone. His story “Winter Elders” is reprinted in Astoria to Zion: Twenty-Six Stories of Risk and Abandon from Ecotone’s First Decade.

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My Two Hats

As a writer, I have a split personality: Jekyll the journalist, Hyde the inventor. Jekyll writes a newspaper column, and though he expresses his opinions, he is faithful to facts. Hyde writes fiction, and he cheats on facts with abandon, betrays and abuses them, comes sneaking home at daybreak, reeking of unfamiliar perfume.

People often ask me if I have a hard time moving between these two forms, and I never know how to answer—in part because I don’t have a hard time with it, and in part because I’m not exactly sure what type of a problem I’m expected to have with it.

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