And lo, I have finished the long march from empty page to submitted manuscript and a copy of Cold Cases is now winging its way to the publishers via the miracle of the internets. And well-timed it is, all things considered, since it gives me a few free moments to take part in the QWC Blog Tour of Queensland and answer some quick questions from the fine folks at the Queensland Writers Centre
Where do your words come from?
I borrow most of them from the dictionary. For some reason this whole writing lark works better when other people recognise the words you’re using and understand what they mean. Of course, my dictionary’s kind of old, so it’s missing words like D’oh and jiggy. Those I borrow from television shows and trust readers keep up.
Where did you grow up and where do you live now?
My parents were teachers, so I spent my childhood moving. We basically went between northern Queensland and the Darling Downs before finally settling on the Gold Coast when I was thirteen and stayed put for a long stretch. These days I live in Brisbane, which suits me far better than the Gold Coast ever did. I suspect it’s got something to do with access bookstores.
What’s the first sentence/line of your latest work?
“The first time the Black Dog showed up I was five.”
– From Black Dog: A Biography in the Interfictions 2 anthology.
What piece of writing do you wish you had written?
Oh, man, that’s a long list and it’d get a different answer depending on the day. Lets go with William Gibson’s Neuromancer or Dylan Thomas’ poem Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night. The former blew my mind when I came across it at fourteen and I suspect there’s a little part of me that will always want to be William Gibson, while the latter expresses a sentiment that’s becoming more and more important to me as the years go by.
What are you currently working towards?
I just mailed off the manuscript for Cold Cases, the manuscript that should follow up my unicorn-noir novella Horn, so I’m looking forward to getting some short-stories written before I hear back from Twelfth Planet Press and get stuck into the edits and rewrites. After we’re done with Cold Cases I’ll be starting work on the third novella in the Miriam Aster series and revisiting a long-neglected novel draft.
Complete this sentence… The future of the book is…
Not something that really bothers me, to be honest. I try to remain aware of the conversation and experiments in the publishing industry and I’m excited about the prospect of finally being able to carry e-books around in things like an i-phone, but when you get right down to it I’m primarily interested in being able to make stuff up and share it with other people. If the books the best way to do that, I’ll go with the book. If the future says the best choice is an e-book, or even a different vehicle for story altogether like the computer game, then I figure I’ll do what I can to work with that. Stories existed before books, and so did professional storytellers. I’m not sure either will go out of style, even if the book as a paper artifact does.
This post is part of the Queensland Writers Centre blog tour, happening October to December 2009. To follow the tour, visit Queensland Writers Centre’s blog The Empty Page.