Monday, February 11, 2008

Author interviews, fascinating and inspiring

(Cross posted with The Short Review blog)

I have just added a new section to The Short Review: Author Interviews. This is turning into a very popular feature on the site, and for me personally, as a writer, these interviews with authors about how they write, how they put their collections together, what they are working on now, are fascinating and illuminating. A few excerpts:

Rusty Barnes, author of the flash fiction collection Breaking it Down, says:
"I write to be read, yes — I love to be read above all things now — but I write only to please myself. I mean, I have my obsessions, my concerns, and a good sense of what's out there in the world being written, and I think what I write has a place in that world, and it's up to me to figure out ways to get it out there, to get it to readers."

Nona Caspers, author of Heavier than Air, introduced me to the concept of MA: "I love how stories use MA space, MA being a Japanese word for the space between things that seems empty but is actually full and creates harmony. The space between the individual stories also allows for that feeling of MA."

For Sarah Salway, author of Leading the Dance, knowing that people were reading her book made her feel sick "in case they didn’t like it, or thought I was ‘odd’. But now I’ve come to terms with the fact that there will always be some people who won’t like my stuff and also that I am definitely ‘odd’ ! There’s not much I can do about it, so am just happy when people tell me they’ve enjoyed and/or got something out of reading my stories."

"I used to try to write for agents, or certain readers I imagined impressing," says Claudia Smith, author of the flash collection The Sky is A Well, "and I think that got in the way. I write for the story, for what feels true to me as I am writing it. I think my work improved once I learned to do that, and it took me years to find my voice. I do workshop many of my short-shorts with an online writing group, and I know that has influenced them immensely. I have written with these writers for years, so I trust them."

There are more interviews up on the site, and more coming soon: Carys Davies, Kim Newman, Roy Kesey.... Stay tuned!


Women Rule Writer said...

Hi Tania
I have found these interviews very interesting. Not least as I have one forthcoming on your site!
It's amazing how similarly many of the writers answered, for example re the notion of having an ideal or imagined reader. Most don't. What a relief! Is this one of those 'made-up' things out there, that many writers feel they have to agree with, when really we are almost all (selfishly) writing for ourselves?!

TitaniaWrites said...

Hello, WRW, nice of you to pop in and now I know where you blog, too! Yes, isn't it great to hear those things said by other writers? Makes me feel much better.