This week we talk to Julie Chevalier about her piece ‘Rocquefort’ which appears in Landmarks, the latest anthology curated by Spineless Wonders. During this interview Julie describes a landmark of significance to her, she talks about who inspires her writing and what inspired her micro-lit piece.
Tell us about a landmark that is significant to you
Schmaltzy as it may sound, The Statue of Liberty is a reminder of acceptance. My ancestors from Denmark, England, France, Germany, and Switzerland went through immigration at Ellis Island, New York. I migrated from the US to Sydney, Australia. I feel sympathy for people having to change countries and seek asylum in far more difficult circumstances. I look forward to the time when Australia welcomes refugees, when our landmarks shout, Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…
What inspired you to write ‘Rocquefort’ ?
A piece of cheese led me to blue veins on hands. I imagined the hands of the smug old creep in ‘Roquefort’ and he took over the narrative.
How do you find the experience of writing to a theme?
Fun! I try to find a way to sneak up on the theme from the side.
Describe your writing space.
Paper foothills folded into a whitewashed landscape.
Tell us about a writer or work that has inspired you as a writer
James Baldwin, Vladimir Nabokov, Elizabeth Jolley, George Saunders and Amy Bloom inspire me by their courage in confronting tough issues. At some time each has made me want to give up writing.
Julie Chevalier’s third book, Darger: his girls, won the Alec Bolton Prize and was short-listed for the Western Australian Premier’s Poetry Prize. Her first collection of short fiction, Permission To Lie was published by Spineless Wonders. Recently she co-edited Cracking the Spine: ten Australian Short Stories and How They Were Written.
Feature image via Flickr.com