It was a thrill to talk with Sallis. We spoke about Phoenix and crime, the movies and sequels, structure and the writing life. I'll post some excerpts from the longer interview before it was edited, but this is one of my favorite insights that Sallis offered into his own work from the article:
Have movies had an influence on your work?
As my major influences I often claim bad science-fiction movies of the ‘50s. After that, a steady decade or three of foreign films, especially French. Films made me realize how atmosphere can be created in so many ways—mist rising from a grating, a casual glance, rain running down a window—and how much can be passed to the viewer, or to the reader, nondiscursively; how much space one might leave around the story, the characters, the setting.