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  • Meet the Author
  • Mattox Roesch

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Figure 1.

Mattox Roesch and his wife currently live in Unalakleet, Alaska, while he completes the stories about Go-Boy that will be compiled into a novel. Roesch wasn't convinced at first about the setting of Unalakleet for "Go at Shaktoolik." The town sits on a strip of land less than a square half-mile, and nearly seven hundred people inhabit the small area. Roesch says, "I think for a story to work well, the location needs to be like an additional character. So after I got into the novel, and Go-Boy and Kiana and the narrator all started to grow into their personalities, feeding off each other, the setting began shaping them too, and each character formed a relationship with the town and environment."

As a character, Go-Boy is erratic but compelling. "Some would say that running with gangs is crazy; others would say posting love notes around town is crazy; and others would say working as an insurance claims adjuster is crazy. But the minute you know any of these people personally, it becomes difficult to label them and write them off because the difference between them and us, crazy and sane, is hardly anything," Roesch says.

Roesch believes that "fiction assembles a bunch of people, packs them into a small room, sits them around a table and makes them play poker. In fiction, there can be a specific honesty and truth about people and life that can't be found in any other genre, or any other art form."

Mattox Roesch received a Minnesota State Arts Board grant to travel to Unalakleet to complete his Go-Boy stories. His fiction has won a Loft Mentorship Series Award, and AGNI online recently published another piece of his Alaskan fiction.



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