Words from a Writer: Andrew Feldman

Andrew Feldman has written nine stories for us, but really, we only needed to read one of his pieces to recognize his considerable talent. All of his Defiant Scribe stories are standouts. Maybe it’s because of the multi-dimensional characters, so realistic that you might recognize people you know (or yourself) in them. Maybe it’s the well-plotted narratives that always have something interesting to say, whether it’s about human beings, relationships, family, or society at large. Maybe it’s his razor-sharp writing, which carries plenty of bite and often some snark, and always makes you want to keep reading. Whatever the reason, Andrew’s stories pulsate with life—and we can’t get enough. 

Andrew was gracious enough to answer some of our questions about writing, reading, Defiant Scribe, et al. Here’s what he had to say. 

Defiant Scribe: When did you start writing and why? And what was the first creative piece you wrote? 

Andrew Feldman: I honestly believe I started when I was three. I learned to read very early, so writing came not too long afterwards. These were incoherent stories with illustrations of strange potato creatures, though—maybe that’s routine for a three-year-old? The first creative thing I wrote was in second grade: a weird story about two families on Family Feud who take the term “feud” too far. Well, maybe not too far; they just actually engage in fisticuffs for over a month, but that’s it.

DS: Favorite book and/or author? 

AF: The Raw Shark Texts by Steven Hall. It still blows my mind that this book is under the radar; it’s insane and incredible.

DS: What’s one book or author that you think is overrated and/or lousy? 

AF: As much as I wanted to like it, I couldn’t get through Catch-22. It just left me feeling irritated.

DS: Fuck, marry, kill: Typewriter, computer, notepad. 

AF: Fuck: notepad; marry: computer; kill: typewriter.

DS: Do you have a favorite storytelling medium (e.g., novel, short story, film, TV show, et cetera)? If you do, what is it and why is it your favorite? 

AF: It’s a tie between film and television. I fell in love with movies first and have wanted to be a screenwriter since I was a kid, but in recent years, TV has really excelled where films sometimes haven’t. Maybe its programs having shorter seasons or really leaning into serialization, but it’s been very impressive to watch… literally.

DS: If someone asked you to name one person or thing that has influenced/inspired you the most, what—or who—would that be? 

AF: It’s going to sound strange, but I think my answer would be pain. Emotional pain, specifically. Things like insecurity, depression, self-sabotage, etc. Mental health is very important to me, and I’ve found that everything I’ve written becomes some form of therapy. I find some aspect of myself I’d like to work on and search for the answer within the story. I rarely set out to write about a certain thing; it emerges naturally, and once I see it, I explore it, much to my surprise, and hopefully, for the betterment of myself.

DS: Of the stories you’ve written for Defiant Scribe, which are you proudest of and why?  

AF: We Can Plant a House. This was one of the hardest stories to crack for me. I’d start, stop, start again, stop again, always with a vague idea of where I wanted it to go, but it never felt right. Writing for Defiant Scribe gave me a chance to really home in on it and do it correctly. I really got in the characters’ heads and felt I managed to keep the whole thing grounded, even when things go slightly off the rails. The story felt precious to me from its inception, and the final product even more so.

DS: If you were going to recommend someone read your Defiant Scribe stories, which would you tell them to read first? 

AF: …And Her Friend, Samson. Maybe because it feels like the most “traditional” story of mine, but it also feels the most cinematic, something easily accessible, while being a good introduction to my writing style.

DS: What sucks the most about being a writer? 

AF: Editing. Going back and reading the thing over and over again to correct errors and make sure it flows well and this and that and it takes forever.

DS: Where else can people find you and/or your work? 

AF: I perform improv every first and third Saturday, 8:30PM, and every second and fourth Friday, 7:30 PM, both at Endgames Improv, 2989 Mission Street in San Francisco. I also perform at PianoFight in the Tenderloin every Wednesday as part of the cast of Missed Connections, improv based on, well, the Missed Connections found on Craigslist.