Eirik Gumeny is the [insert superlatives here] author of the cult-favorite Exponential Apocalypse series. He’s written for WIRED, Cracked, Nerdist, SYFY, a couple of medical textbooks, and even The New York Times once. Born with cystic fibrosis, Eirik still has cystic fibrosis, because that’s how genetic diseases work. In 2014, he received a double lung transplant and technically died a little. He got better.
And we are so glad he did. He writes about that one time he "technically died a little" and receiving his double lung transplant in his essay On Being a Real-Life Frankenstein, in the upcoming anthology Keeping It Under Wraps: Bodies, Uncensored.
Listen to him read an excerpt.
We asked him some questions about his writing, and here's what Eirik had to say.
1. What has your writing journey been like so far?
I started writing in college, after I realized how much math was involved in civil engineering. (I’m very bad with numbers.) Twenty years later, I’m writing professionally, contributing to outlets like Nerdist, WIRED, and Cracked. I even managed to get an essay into Modern Love once.
The last few years were a little difficult, as I tried to reassess my relationship to writing and move on to the “next stage.” That hasn’t happened quite the way I wanted it to, but I think, finally, I’m in a good place with that reality. Getting caught up in expectations and fantasies, in what kind of a writer I was supposed to be, made actually enjoying the work impossible. I was drowning in disappointments of my own design, until the literal act of writing was impossible. And if a writer isn’t writing, then what are they doing?
2. How does the process of digging up (sometimes) difficult memories go for you? How did you access those events in your life that you write about in your essay?
The funny thing about an organ transplant is that it’s never really a past-tense event. Every morning, I see the scar cut across my chest, faded now with years, but always there. I take a cocktail of pills with my coffee. I’m immunocompromised and forced into solitude thanks to a world that’s trying real hard to ignore an ongoing pandemic. Those aren’t things you get to forget.