Quality Snacks: Short Stories of Relationships and the Lack Thereof

Apr 21, 2014

Andy Mozina in the WMUK studio
Credit Rebecca Thiele, WMUK

Kalamazoo writer Andy Mozina will be reading from his short stories called Quality Snacks as part of the Michigan Notable Book tour.

The event takes place tomorrow at 5:30 at the Richland Community Library.

Quality Snacks mostly revolves around middle-aged Midwestern men from different backgrounds as they navigate relationships and divorce.

The book comes out in print on May 1st.

On Doritos

Mozina, an English professor at Kalamazoo College, used to have an addiction to Doritos chips. 

"The MSG is an addictive substance. And when I was in college I could easily buy a bag and just sit there  and eat it. And that continued far longer into adulthood than it should have," he says. "And then I realized what was happening...it's an addictive substance. Doritos is an addictive product."

While Mozina was going cold-turkey to get off of Doritos, he wrote a story about it. Now, he says, he doesn't touch the stuff.

Lies Make Great Stories

Mozina says he has a lot of trouble looking at his life or others' lives and putting that in writing. He says he finds it interesting, but it's just not quite offbeat enough for his style. Mozina says he likes exaggerating situations sometimes for the sake of a good story.

"It's very hard to take life straight I think. And I think just to get through things moment to moment, I will just say things that are not the case," he says. "I hope always that whoever I'm with knows that I'm exaggerating a little bit." 

A Quirk, A Twist, A Surprise

Instead of writing a story and then adding a twist to it, Mozina says he starts writing with a twist. 

"The story with Santa Claus as a baseball player. That first sentence just came to me, 'It was the bottom of the 9th and Santa was down 43 to 1. And you know that's really not something you can plan, you just sort of react to it and try to rationalize it a little bit. And that's a way to get out of the ordinary a little bit. I think fiction wants to blow things up or make things a little bit strange."

Mozina says it's something that's offbeat like that that gets his imagination going.