Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I have published two collections of short stories (Sniggerless Boundulations, and Laissez Faire), and edited an anthology (Sproutlings: A Compendium of Little Fictions). I am an Australian woman slash crazy cat lady.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My latest book is Laissez Faire. It is a meditation on the indecisiveness that comes with anxiety and the inattentiveness that comes with depression, expressed in many fantastical forms. There is some Lovecraftian horror, absurdist suspense, myth retelling, and Carver-esque minimalism. It is tiny but satisfying for the soul.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I kind of have a triple or quadruple entry system, where I like to alternate between hand-written brainstorming notebooks to organising in a spreadsheet or Ywriter or Word, then sometimes back to hand-written palm cards, and finally typed up in polished a digital prose. It depends how long the piece is. The longer it is the more plotting and planning I will do.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
I love short story collections. Some of my favourites are by Cate Kennedy, Margo Lanagan, and Tim Winton. For novels I am a big fan of Karen Joy Fowler, Amy Tan, Michael Cunningham, Kazuo Ishiguro, and Kim Stanley Robinson. I also like my crime novels, Gillian Flynn and Adrian McKinty.
What are you working on now?
I did NaNoWriMo in November 2017 and got the first draft of my new crime novella Snakeweed. I am entering the editing process of that one. There are more collections and anthologies in my future.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I live on Facebook, that is my primary tool, networking through writers groups and communities. I like to review other indie authors, particularly dark story collections and non-fiction. I use Instagram to feed content to my FB Page and Twitter. I am a passive YouTube community member, I don’t make videos but I comment on a lot and support booktubers and nano writers. And I generally support content creators on Patreon, Kickstarter, and Thunderclap. Goodreads giveaways are a great tool if you have printed books. Amazon KDP Select free days and countdown promos are great to use in conjunction with virtual launches/blog tours for ebooks.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
In this global digital age there is a readership for absolutely everything. Don’t get too hung up on wanting to be commercially appealing or needing to be an original literary genius when you are in your first draft. Write it out in dot-points if you need to. You build a frame out of crude materials and hang your poetry on it. You need to generate some base material to edit. Writing is rewriting. Your unique voice is your greatest asset.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
I like the advice “write about what scares you most”. And as an addendum I have heard comedians say – I don’t remember if it was Whitney Cummings or Jen Kirkman, possibly both, and quoting other comedians from the industry – for the purposes of being real and authentic just pretend your parents don’t exist or will never read/see your work. Those familial inhibitions can prevent you from getting to the real truth of what you are trying to say. You have to let it all hang out as a writer.
What are you reading now?
One of my NaNoWriMo buddies recommended The Notebook Trilogy by Agota Kristof. I’ve been reading The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides, The Keep by Jennifer Egan, Uncommon Type by Tom Hanks, Ruby by Cynthia Bond, and The Eye of the Sheep by Sofie Laguna. I recently reviewed a brilliant short story collection called They Move Below by Karl Drinkwater.
What’s next for you as a writer?
I would like to do some more collab projects. Compile another anthology. Write another novel. Compose some poetry. Enter some short story competitions. Develop some teaching materials. Publish some non-fiction essays. Yeah basically everything all the time. It is hard (but necessary) for me to stick to one project at a time. But writing is an endurance sport.
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
The Passion of New Eve by Angela Carter
The Natural Way of Things by Charlotte Wood
A Million Little Pieces by James Frey