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An O:JA&L Writer’s Portfolio
Experimental Discourse: Fiction

Associate Editor Warwick Newnham


To explore more of Jim Meirose’s work,
view or download Experimental Storytelling: The Timeline of Complementary Realities
the free PDF in the 2023 O:JA&L Chapbook Series or follow this link.

Jim Meirose‘s short fiction has appeared in leading journals, and his novels include Sunday Dinner with Father Dwyer (Optional Books), Understanding Franklin Thompson (JEF), Le Overgivers au Club de la Résurrection (Mannequin Haus), and No and Maybe – Maybe and No (Pski’s Porch).

NEWNHAM FOR O:JA&L: Hey, Jim, thanks for agreeing to do this interview! 

JIM MEIROSE: Thanks for inviting me.

NEWNHAM FOR O:JA&L: Give us some sense of your background and education and how this shapes your work. 

JIM MEIROSE: As a boy I was drilled in reading by my Mother. I picked up my love of music and literature from her. In addition to literature, I spent some years as a student, performer and teacher of classical guitar (this was later put aside as my writing took more time and energy).  I acquired a strong work ethic from my Father who was an electrician by trade. My first full time jobs were in factories and warehouses. Needing more money than that, I went to school nights and got an Economics degree. I entered the IT management field and was somewhat successful but there was something lacking. In time I took up fiction writing seriously (I had dabbled here and there along the road part-time since I was a boy) and through lucky circumstance I was able to take up writing on a full-time basis. How this shapes my work, I feel, is that since I’ve been exposed to many different types of people and situations and tend to be a very hard worker at whatever I take up, this all feeds into what I write about and how I write it.

NEWNHAM FOR O:JA&L: When did you start writing and what motivated you to do so?

JIM MEIROSE: I started as a boy. It’s hard to say why. Probably because it came easy, I had a good imagination, and all in all because it was fun, basically. I did it off and on in my spare time all through school, my early jobs, and what have you. Gradually I got very disillusioned with the corporate world, and the light bulb went off in me that I ought to get serious about writing. So I did. Gradually, as luck would have it, I was able to spend more and more time on it. 

NEWNHAM FOR O:JA&L: Who are you favorite authors, experimental or otherwise and how have they influenced your work?

JIM MEIROSE: Early on before I knew anything about “literature” I was a “hard” science fiction addict and read every SF novel I could get my hands on. The major “hard” SF authors I still consider favorites. I also loved reading Bulfinch’s mythology and weird stuff like Lovecraft, Bierce, etc. I stumbled across Brautigan’s work and Gogol’s stories and thought those hilariously funny. Bob Dylan’s lyrics always interested me. As I began to write more I took a few creative writing classes. The teacher told me my writing reminded her of Faulkner and Joyce (neither of which I’d read up to then). She suggested some stuff of theirs to read, and I got into that. All of this was probably shaping what I was writing myself. The work of William Blake, Beckett, and T.S. Eliot is fantastic to me. There are others along the lines of Burroughs as well. A recent discovery for me is the work of Arno Schmidt. Each of these authors in their own way has influenced me in that “anything goes” as long as it’s — “Good”.

NEWNHAM FOR O:JA&L: In a general sense how would you describe your work?

JIM MEIROSE: If I traced through the years there would be many descriptions that apply, but right now I feel that I’m consistently depicting the realistic “world” that we all inhabit. This means the inner life and the outer lives of the characters and the gradations in between. Also, I think my work reflects the aspect of reality we all experience, which is the steady stream of random perceptions flooding our senses non-stop. We may get to where we scarcely notice this, but it is always there, affecting the way we see and deal with the world. Getting through life is a moment-by-moment struggle to cope with things thrown at us, as we struggle forward toward this or that important personal “goal”, of which we’ve all multiple, many of which we’re not consciously aware of, etc. etc. and so forth. The world in which my characters live is this kind of world. I think this reflects much of all our realities.

NEWNHAM FOR O:JA&L: What are your writing habits, do you write everyday and at the same times or is it as inspiration strikes?

JIM MEIROSE: I write every day. Mostly in the morning right after rising. I do editing and miscellaneous writing related tasks here and there throughout the day. Just before bed I go over what I wrote that morning. If it still holds together then I feel it’s been a productive day.

NEWNHAM FOR O:JA&L: Are there common themes in your works? 

JIM MEIROSE: The ongoing struggle in each and every human to make sense of a nonsensical world.  And the ability of most humans to pick up and keep going despite failure after failure all through their lives.

NEWNHAM FOR O:JA&L: I know you have had several books published. Could you list these with a short precis for each as well as links to these books?

JIM MEIROSE: “Et Tu” (Coming in 2024 – C22 Press )

Inner lives of those pursuing mastery of the game of Jai alai.

Audio Bookies (Coming in 2024 – LJMcD Communications )

Audiobook creators are slowly absorbed over time into their creation.

Sunday Dinner with Father Dwyer (2018 – Optional Books)

Defrocked Priest hosts 24/7 cooking show for long-haul containership crews.

No and Maybe – Maybe and No (2019 – Pski’s Porch)

A pair of extra-dimensional humanoids accidentally blown into our reality (and in the process being transformed into birds) observe and comment on the strange ways of humanity.

Understanding Franklin Thompson (2017 – JEF Books)

Middle-aged bachelor Franklin Thompson lives with his aging Mother. He suffers from a mental disorder which causes him to believe his Mother has been taken from him forever whenever she exits his line of sight (leaves the room, goes outside, etc., whatever).

Inferno (2016 – Underground Voices)

A band of heavily-armed modern day mercenaries fight their way through the physical hell of Dante’s Inferno.

Le Overgivers au Club de la Résurrection (2017 – Mannequin Haus)

Story of Jamed and Wendy Davis, disillusioned Funeral Home operators, who become investors in “Le Overgivers Au Club de la Resurrection” (The Resurrection Club). Based in Berne, Switzerland, this organization’s purpose is to research and develop, over the next twenty years, the necessary technology to return the dead to life.

Eli the Rat (2016 – Montag Press)

The CEO of a giant Pharmaceutical Corporation has discovered that thousands of dollars worth of dangerous narcotics have gone missing from the company’s warehouse, and nobody has even noticed. It’s an inside job; a smuggling racket that’s been in gear for years, brazenly sneaking the drugs right out through the front door. An undercover Rat is hired to pose as a worker and get to the bottom of the racket. And this he does; very quickly, he identifies the smugglers, cozies up to them, and is all set to report in and and have them busted. But his developing love for the young female member of the ring of thieves has complicated his job.

Mount Everest (2015 – Montag Press)

Christine Zidar is a woman plagued by voices visions and delusions but manages to keep her “business” together for a number of years, until she is suddenly forced to deal with the fact that her hoarder Mother with whom she lives has had their house condemned and she and Christine are forced with eviction.

Claire (2004 – Trafford)

“Claire” is about a dead woman (Claire), whose casket falls out of an exploding airplane as she is being transported cross-country for burial. The casket falls into a plowed field in an isolated rural area and is found by two brothers who live on a rundown farm nearby. They take the casket home to their barn, hoping for reward money, but after some days pass it becomes apparent that Claire’s body is somehow, magically, not decomposing.

Monkey   (2002 – Out of print )

Young man seeks justice for his embattled Father.

Freddie Mason’s Wake   (2003 – Out of print )

Estranged families forced together by a tragedy.

NEWNHAM FOR O:JA&L: Have you won any literary prizes?

JIM MEIROSE: I have been runner-up for the O’Henry, and have been nominated for Pushcart and Shirley Jackson Prizes but can’t claim to have won anything I can recall.

NEWNHAM FOR O:JA&L: What are you working on at the moment?

JIM MEIROSE: I am focused on a single project, titled Party. This work consists of a number of interconnected “Party Games”. Party’s main characters are a pair of spouses seeking mastery of the game of Jai alai. In the process of documenting their journey, the reader will learn much about not only Jai alai but also the ins and outs of telephone pole and TV set manufacturing, the dangers posed when the the universe begins to spontaneously and dangerously generate new planets, the cause and the aftermath of the worst traffic gridlock ever encountered, some rowdy infighting among the newly resurrected dead, and much, much more. In writing Party I have no particular “ending” in mind. The composition of further “games” will continue until the forces that move us signal that the end has been reached and the “Party Guests” should at last be politely urged to leave the party halls.

Segments of Party have been placed here and there as stand-alone pieces. For example, the work “Et Tu” being put out on 2024 by the C22 collective is put together out of segments from Party.

NEWNHAM FOR O:JA&L: Thanks again Jim. 

JIM MEIROSE: Thank you, Warwick, for having me.


W.J.P. NEWNHAM hitchhiked around Australia working as barman, bum and waiter, slaughter hand, deckhand and master, spending 25 years working in the Northern Prawn Fishery. He has travelled extensively in Southeast Asia, the Americas, and Japan and speaks marketplace Indonesian with some fluency. He is the winner of the 2016 The Lifted Brow’s Experimental Non-fiction Prize. His numerous short stories have been published in Nocturnal Submissions, Overland, The Lifted Brow, Meanjin, Westerly and Horror Sleaze Trash [to name but a few. Newnham is Associate Editor for Content Development and Senior Editor for Experimental Discourse at O:JA&L.

Image: Photo of Jim Meirose. Courtesy Jim Meirose.

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