Vivian McInerny


Vivian McInerny is a journalist and fiction writer. She's recipient of a Fishtrap fellowship and a Metropolitan Arts Commission grant for literary fiction. Water Damage is a Best of the Writers Project selection of the Multnomah County Library in Portland, Oregon. McInerny's essays and short stories appear in several literary anthologies including 805 Lit+Art, The Cardiff Review and Dunes Review.

As a staff writer for The Oregonian daily newspaper for nearly twenty years, she produced award-winning feature articles that were published in newspapers and magazines nationwide. She now works as an independent journalist and writer of fiction. Her first children's book is forthcoming in 2021.

She's at work on a second novel and a memoir about traveling overland from Europe to Nepal at age eighteen.

Smashwords Interview

Why did you write Water Damage?
I felt I had something to say.

When I look back at the stories that stick with me, the common thread is that the characters grapple with ethical conundrums. Nick in Gatsby, Scout in Mockingbird, Holden in Catcher, Pip in Great Expectations, or Huckleberry Finn -- and on-and-on -- struggle to become good people. They aren't effortlessly kind or self-aware or heroic but fumble about a bit before finding their paths.

Not sure why that theme appeals to me, only that it does.
So what issue does the character in Water Damage face?
Liv Edlen is fairly naive art student when she lands in England in the mid-1970s. For the first time in her life, she's exposed to fascinating people and extreme wealth, the kind that goes back centuries and comes with titles and stately homes and ridiculous privilege. She has the opportunity to grab some of that for herself. But only if she is willing to turn a blind eye to questionable practices.

Many writers, musicians, artists struggle with the idea of being true to the creative process -- and survival. The temptation in Liv's case is she could enter this world on her talent but would have to disregard the amoral creep factor of her benefactor.

England in the '70s England was a rare place and time when the classes were mixing like never before. It felt revolutionary. It also previewed today's issues of wealth inequity and people wanting to create and . . . good Lord, I sound pretentious.

I meant to say; I felt I had a story to tell.

The characters are interesting. And parts of it are pretty funny.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Vivian McInerny online


Water Damage: A Novel of Liquid Mystery
Price: $4.99 USD. (Free until Jan. 01, 2019!) Words: 86,340. Language: English. Published: December 28, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Women's fiction » General
American student Liv Edlen lands at the Bath Academy of Arts in England in the 1970s. It's a rare time when creative working class kids mingle with bohemian aristocrats, when art seems revolutionary, and culture clashes prove inevitable. She meets a wealthy, married, man with a penchant for collecting art and people and finds herself entangled in a web of deceit and who is using whom blurs.

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