Answers to Interview Questions about The Unfinished World,
Taken from Yelp Reviews of Famous Museums around the World
Why should people read your book?
“It’s pretty interesting and is not a long-winded affair…Many people enjoy lunch here and it’s open to the public. Truly amazing and massive collection of mammals, historic artifacts, dinosaurs, etc… Dedicated to both ecclesiastical and secular topics.”
How long did it take you to write the book?
“After I got my ticket, I didn’t waste much time, started to explore. I could have spent weeks here. But I got it done in a day, though we rushed through a lot of it.”
What is the book about?
“It’s the most batshit and amazing place! There are a lot of real characters here, and their work is crazy. There’s even a tomb in the basement!”
How do you typically order a short story collection?
“It was built atop a much older fortified castle, the foundations of which are excavated and you can walk around them…There is no suggested itinerary for the visit as intended by its creator, so you just wander and discover at your leisure.”
Who are your influences?
“The various plagues and diseases on the planet Earth (malaria, polio, Ebola, etc.)… Anything from Andy Warhol paintings to Giacometti sculptures… recovered pieces of the destroyed Parthenon in Athens… the Celts’ warrior status and love of strong wine…the Vikings and small children…a sad dry scone with a single raisin in it.”
What might people dislike about the book?
“The art from years ago is magnificent, the modern stuff, not so much…It’s really crowded with people. I felt like I needed to get out of there after an hour or so…It’s just so time-consuming to look at art.”
What is your writing process? Research? Revision?
“Got there at 3PM and decided to stand in line and wait…you could make many of the pieces you see here yourself, and then there are the pieces you could not imagine creating…you look at everything for as long as you can, and then head to the café for a pretty decent, if overpriced, lunch…I come back here all the time, and I’d come back even more often if it wasn’t so costly.”
Why do you write?
“You are transported back in time as you roam the halls of the museum…I just like to think about what life was like for people back then, and it’s like being in a time machine…It’s really beautiful inside.”
AMBER SPARKS is the author of the short story collection The Unfinished World and Other Stories, which has received praise from The New York Times, The Washington Post, and the Paris Review, among others. She is also the author of a previous short story collection, May We Shed These Human Bodies, as well as the co-author of a hybrid novella with Robert Kloss and illustrator Matt Kish, titled The Desert Places. She’s written numerous short stories and essays which have been featured in various publications and across the web – find them here at ambernoellesparks.com, and say hi on Twitter @ambernoelle. She lives in Washington, DC with her husband, infant daughter, and two cats.