My story reflects the ubiquity, ridiculousness and dehumanising nature of e-communication. I work with a multi-function device (a machine that used to be called a photocopier before it got a PhD) several days a week and find little difference between the conversations I have with the device and those I have with my fellow workers.
2. Tell us about your process. (Do you start sparse and widen out, or do you write down every possible association and cut back? Do you research the subject matter you are writing about? Is it pure intuition?) Take us through an example if you want.
I do most of my writing while I’m swimming, then leap from the pool and try to get everything down on paper that rapidly becomes soggy. I write great sprawling stories and edit savagely when I’ve finished.
If I’m not swimming, I’m sitting looking through a window (I can’t write without a window) and writing longhand in yellow and black striped exercise books with a Bic Jetstream pen, drinking peach tea, early in the morning. Without this precise combination of factors, my fictional universes could not exist.
I’ve written enough to know not to get bogged down in online research to the detriment of the story (ie: it doesn’t get written). I find it difficult not to get distracted by YouTube videos featuring cats whenever I’m online.
I have three enthusiastic readers who check my stories before I send them off.
3. What advice do you have for other writers? (About the first or last line? About how to choose the title? Do you follow any rules?)
A story that is rejected by an editor whose response verges on insulting is often accepted by another publication who thinks you are the best thing since Tim Winton/Judy Nunn/Sonja Hartnett (pick your genre).
4. Who or what inspires your writing?
I’m convinced that I’m channeling when I write, I can’t believe my brain would come up with such strange ideas. Furthermore and notwithstanding, when I’m writing, I go into a trance, emerging several hours later, triumphant and rather tired. When I read what I’ve written, Iater, after a nap, often it is not familiar. Spooky.
5. Tell us what you do if you haven’t written anything in a while and you want to get started writing again? Could you share your favourite writing exercise with our readers?
I don’t have this problem and I don’t do writing exercises. Not being smug, that’s just the way it is. Having worked as a journalist, comedian, playwright, speechwriter and copywriter, writing to deadlines and often being under pressure, writing stories is just fun, I can’t wait to write, I get over-excited when I open that yellow and black striped notebook and the pen takes over from there ….