…it’s the stories that do the writing
What the hell could be worse (at this point in the evolution of American Letters) than a writer who writes a story about a writer writing a story? The problem is writers don’t write the stories; it’s the stories that do the writing. As cliché and trite as that sounds , it’s the Gods honest truth. I swore off meta-fiction decades ago, but when this story started writing itself, it failed to mention to me that it would eventually require me to write fucking footnotes in which I would insist vehemently that I am not some postmodern wanna-be who showed up at the prom after the spinning mirror ball was all packed up in its Styrofoam container! By the time the story let me in on its plans, I was already hooked; there was no yanking myself free. So I have marched ahead, a good soldier doing my duty, even if it will probably lead me to ruin. I am the Colin Powell of fiction writing, spreading falsehoods in the name of serving my master. So it has been done before. So what. I would argue that just because a question has been asked doesn’t mean we are done answering it.
—Mark Maxwell, The Sweetwater Stranger (The Santa Monica Review)