Some Questions for Michael Ferrin

What inspired you to write “Paradise”?
I had spent some time thinking about my relationship with my father, I guess more specifically, the relationship my siblings and I have with my father. It is a bit strained to say the least. There are a handful of reasons as to why, but in the past, we shared some really, really good times. My dad is a flawed man, but he was and is an amazing parent. He did everything he could to provide us with a happy childhood. I wanted to put that into writing. We have always bonded over music. It is a universal language. The 4 of us together on that road trip was indeed paradise.

What was your writing process like for writing “Paradise”?
It started with the connection my father, siblings, and I share through music, specifically my father’s road trip mix tapes. I worked backwards from there. It was important for me to highlight both our childlike naivety as well as the protectiveness of my father. I found it enjoyable showcasing my siblings’ personalities through their eating habits.

How has COVID impacted your creative work?
Well, I am a restaurant employee doubling as an aspiring writer. Quite literally overnight I had more free time than I can remember ever having. During the early quarantine of spring 2020 my roommate and I started a magazine for artists in the service industry. We were able to explore our own creativity as well as seek out like-minded creatives. It actually fueled my desire to return to academia.

Read Michael Ferrin’s “Paradise.”