Where were you born and raised?
In New York—Manhattan—near the Museum of Natural History on the West side of Central Park.
What was it that first got you into writing and when did you start writing?
When I was about five or six, my mother used to take down my stories on her 1914 Underwood
Which writers have influenced you the most?
Saul Bellow, Anton Chekhov, Grace Paley, Vladimir Nabokov, and so many others…
What kind of things do you write?
Long short stories and novels, mostly about family, mostly about Jews, mostly about existential struggles.
What are you working on now?
A novel, Mitzvah Man.
What is your writing day like?
I write in the morning, 8 – noon. Then I read, study Torah, meet friends.
What’s the most exciting thing about writing for you?
Discovery, writing things I had no idea I was going to write.
What’s the most frustrating thing about writing for you?
Finding the story.
Do you write for a particular audience, or is your first priority to satisfy your own creativity?
For an imaginary reader, someone interested in things of the spirit.
www.johnjclayton.com. There are links there to stories on line.