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Showing posts from April, 2009

[Interview] Shelley Blake: poet and freelance writer

Shelley Blake has been writing from a very early age. Some of her work has been published in magazines that include The Program Melbourne ; Inpress Magazine ; The Skinny ; and, The Ranfurly Review . In 2006, her poem, "Hidden" was runner-up in the Poetry Category of the Amnesty International and Sydney Pen , Freedom Writer's Awards. Two years earlier, she had been awarded membership with Golden Key International Honour Society based on results of the work she did in her Bachelor of Media Studies with LaTrobe University. In this interview, Shelley Blake talks about her writing: When did you start writing? I began writing from a young age, around 15. I was always fascinated with song lyrics, from artists like Jeff Buckley , Thom York and Nick Cave . The first poetry I read was from Australian writer Luke Davies , who is still one of my favourite writers. I always wanted to work in environmental science, but when I was around 14 I realised I wasn't inclined to th

[Interview] Dora McAlpin

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Award-winning author, Dora McAlpin has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She writes under a number of different names which include D. L. McAlpin, Ivey Banks , and Z. D. Zeeks. Her first novel, Out of the Dark won first place in the 2006 TheNextBigWriter Novel Contest , and, in 2008 another novel of hers, The Keeper of the Sparrows was a semi-finalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award . In this interview, Dora McAlpin talks about her writing. When did you start writing? I was five the first time the writing frenzy took me. Not having pen and paper handy, I wrote my story in crayon on the wall of my bedroom. I was eight when I wrote my first manuscript. It was supposed to be a short story for a school project. Once I started writing it, I couldn't stop. I called it "Rascal, the Little Red Devil of Cherry Lane." How did you decide you wanted to get published? I can't remember ever wanting t

[Interview] Sally Spedding

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Crime and mystery author, Sally Spedding was born in Wales and trained in sculpture in Manchester and at St Martin's, in London. She is also an award winning poet and short story writer. Her books include the crime mystery novels, Wringland (Pan Macmillan, 2001); A Night With No Stars (Allison&Busby, 2005) and Come and Be Killed (Severn House, 2007) as well as the collection of crime short stories, Strangers Waiting (Bluechrome, 2008). In this interview, Sally Spedding talks about her writing. When did you start writing? I began writing as a 10 year-old whilst staying with my Dutch grandparents in their amazing house on a mountainside in Wales, where the rows were constant. The tensions from leaving occupied Holland still very raw. I'd hide away in the attic and write and illustrate comic strips and stories, not fully understanding the tragedies they'd left behind. I like blurring the edges between genres. Crime is too much of a pigeon-hole. I use horro

[Interview] Rai Aren

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Rai Aren lives in Calgary, in the province of Alberta, Canada. She made her debut as an author with the publication of Secret Sands (RFS Publications, 2007), a novel she co-wrote with Tavius E. The novel has been described as "fast, furious and absolutely mindblowing." In this interview, Rai Aren talks about her concerns as a writer. When did you start writing? I have always loved writing; I started by writing my own Nancy Drew stories (early fan fiction) when I was 10. Throughout school, I always had a very easy time with essays, any kind of written question. Then, about seven years ago, my co-author and I started talking about how we wanted to do more with our lives than just earn a living, we wanted to create something larger than life, to follow in the footsteps of the epic stories that we love. From conversations we had over the course of a year, and a program I saw on the Discovery Channel came the inspiration for Secret of the Sands . How would you d

[Interview] Petina Gappah

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Zimbabwean lawyer and author Petina Gappah has been writing from an early age. Some of her work has been published in anthologies that include Laughing Now (Weaver Press, 2008), Women Writing Zimbabwe (Weaver Press, 2008) and One World: A global anthology of short stories (New Internationalist, 2009) . Her debut collection of short stories, An Elegy for Easterly (Faber and Faber, April 2009) has been described as "a stunning portrait of a country in chaotic meltdown". In this email interview, Petina Gappah talks about her concerns as a writer. When did you start writing? Like most writers, I started writing as a child. I was not, however, as precocious as some that I have read about who started writing at age 5 or 3 or even before they were born. I started writing at about 10 or 11, and my first published anything was a story in the St. Dominic’s Secondary School magazine when I was 14. I started writing seriously in May 2006. I joined the Zoetrope Virtual Studi

[Interview] Brett L. Abrams

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Brett L. Abrams was born in Newark and South Brunswick, NJ. He lived in Wisconsin, Philadelphia, and Boston before settling in Washington, DC where he earned a doctorate in U.S. History. His interest in gender, sexuality and culture in the media of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries led to the publication of his first book, Hollywood Bohemians: Transgressive Sexuality and the Selling of the Movieland Dream . His second book, Capital Sporting Grounds: A History of Stadium and Ballpark Construction in Washington, DC focused on the rationale and controversy surrounding the construction of stadiums in Washington. In this interview, Brett L. Abrams talks about his writing. What are the biggest challenges that you face? One challenge involves needing to be an acrobat. I want to strike a balance between including stories that are amusing and entertaining with analysis that shows links between where the culture was and where it is today. Then there’s the challenge of cr