PW: It seems that the narrator of “Sweet Tooth” attaches some sentimental value to his father’s frogs. Are you the sentimental type, or do you focus squarely on the practical value of material?
RS: I’m not particularly sentimental. But I think we all have better times (at least perceived, memory-filtered) that we recollect fondly. In the case of the frogs his father handed down to him (ones his mother hid behind a jungle of ferns and his ex banished to a closet), he and his father saw the comedic value in them. These stuffed creatures played bongos, pool, a tiny red accordion, and rode motorcycles. I imagined he and his father finding them at a flea market when he was young. Seeing them with similar eyes. Connecting in that way. Not viewing them as taxidermy—as real (dead frogs) posed ludicrously, as his ex had. I think it further underscores the divide between the two main characters, and highlights, at least symbolically, a kind of innocence lost.