Mairéad Kiernan – Why I Write Vol. 11
Mairéad Kiernan is a fiction writer, artist bb, and explorer. Her stories focus on the strange aspects of people and quotidian life. She has “a gross brain” serving up some of the most disturbing visions of humanity. Always with a dash of sarcasm. Seventy-eight percent of her time is spent in turtlenecks lying on surfaces — beds, floors, couches, grass — and the other twenty-two percent, walking down streets and looking through drawers hoping to discover secrets.
“Why I Write,” by Mairead Kiernan.
Interrogation of Humans
Why? What if? How? These questions have plagued the people around me for my entire speaking life.
“Why does she talk with a southern accent if she’s from Vermont?”
“What if your oldest daughter would die if you ate an apple, but your youngest daughter would die if you didn’t?”
“How did you paint such straight thin lines?
Human choice fascinates me — why does someone choose? Oddly, people don’t generally like being interrogated about their decisions. However, my characters don’t have a choice. And I am the orchestrator of their answers; I can explore all the options of why? What if? And how? To truly understand a character’s decisions.
“Why did he lick her butt hole if he didn’t like it?”
“What if she stole her employer’s identity?”
“How did she seduce her uncle?”
I want my readers to confront their discomfort about everyday occurrences. Most people don’t want to talk about poop or vaginas or masturbation. Why not? These are things that most, if not all, humans have experience with. Almost everyone has been pushed out a vagina — their whole body has slid out of a vagina. So why can’t we talk about periods?
By writing about these subjects, I hope to compel readers to ask what about this makes them uncomfortable? And should they feel that way? Maybe they’ll find their discomfort funny or stupid or even warranted. My intent is not to eliminate the discomfort, only to make the reader aware of it.
I write so people know how it really happened.
Yes, people worked as cleaners even though they had college degrees. Yes, women didn’t always admit they were gay and when they did a lot of people didn’t like it. Yes, people suffered from mental illness and others tried to normalize their behavior or ignore it.
Through telling honest stories, I intend to portray characters and themes that reader scan connect with. I want readers to finish one of my stories and think some variation of:
“Yeah, that’s what it was like.”
“Yeah, I know someone who experienced something like that.”
“Yeah, that happened to me.”
And through that connection, hear a voice call out from the void, “You are not alone.”
Follow Mairéad’s unfailing wit and humor via @maireadkiernan