When and why did you begin writing? I started writing poetry first. I must have been about eleven, sitting on a rock by the sea in a little place in Greece called Monemvasia. I was so inspired by my surroundings that I needed a way to express it. Not long after, I started writing songs. My mother had decided to sell her twelve-string acoustic guitar to get a bit of extra cash. I saw it sitting by the front door. I think someone was coming over to take a look at it. I remember opening the case and thinking that it just looked so beautiful, and why would Mum want to get rid of it? I think she was in the music room at the time and I interrupted one of her recording sessions to ask about the guitar. When she told me she was selling it, I asked her whether I could have it. She said that I could if I learnt to play. From that day I had that guitar in my hands every single day until I moved to Greece in 2002. I taught myself how to play. The first song I ever wrote was played on one string and sung in a very high-pitched awful voice. I hope that cassette never gets dug up!
What genre are you most comfortable writing? Contemporary fiction. Realistic. Not into fantasy or paranormal at all.
What made you want to be a writer? I just realized one day that I couldn’t live without it. And figured, if I’m going to be writing all the time, I might as well try to get published.
Do you intend to make writing a career? Absolutely. But I try to be realistic about it. I do it because I can’t not do it. Not to make money.
Have you developed a specific writing style? Yes. My writing is quite literary in nature, but I also think it has a decent amount of commercial appeal; a balance of both.
What is your greatest strength as a writer? I have a real knack for cinematic writing. I’d probably beat you in a “show-off”.
Have you ever had writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it? Absolutely. I usually take it as a sign that I’m burned out and give myself a break. It works.
What are your goals as a writer? To have my books linger in the minds of readers long after they’ve turned the last page. With regards to my non-fiction, to help aspiring writers realize that writing doesn’t have to be as overwhelming as it seems. Learn the craft in bite-sized pieces, and eventually everything will come together.
What books have most influenced your life? Housekeeping, by Marilynne Robinson
Cold Blood, by Truman Capote
The Robber Bride, by Margaret Atwood
The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood
The Boy in The Striped Pajamas, by John Boyne
The Private Lives of Pippa Lee, by Rebecca Miller
The Stone Gods, by Jeanette Winterson
Just Kids, by Patti Smith
Short Cuts, by Raymond Carver
Bird by Bird, by Anne Lamott
The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, by Milan Kundera
All poetry by the following poets: Gwen Harwood, Sharon Olds, Anne Sexton, Sylvia Plath
Note: This cyberpunk/dystopian short story is an experimental work of fiction written in verse. Page count: 30. Word count: 2000.
It’s illegal to wear clothes. In some streets, it’s also illegal to sing. Concetta, a famous Italian a capella singer from before “the change,” breaks these laws. As punishment, her vocal chords are brutally slashed, and her eardrums surgically perforated. Unable to cope living a life without song, she resolves to drown herself in the river, clothed in a dress stained with performance memories. But Concetta’s suicide attempt is deterred, when she is distracted by a busking harpist with gold eyes and teeth. Will he show her how to sing again, or will the LEO on the prowl for another offender to detain, arrest her before she has the chance?
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Genre – Cyberpunk / Dystopian / Short Story in Verse
Rating – PG13
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