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In my previous two blog posts, I’ve talked about my love affair with English literature, encouraged and nurtured by schoolteachers in India who did the best with what was available. Reading Milton, Byron, Wordsworth, Hardy, Lamb, Austen, Bronte, Woolf and a legion of writers from the 18th – 20th centuries started me on the career […]
The year I turned seventeen I fell in love with a cynical older man who was unaware of my existence; causing devastation in a heart that would never heal. I used this unusual experience and wrote a story about it. It was imaginatively titled ‘A Matter of Destiny,’ and published by an Indian women’s magazine […]
English novelist Thomas Hardy was an unlikely role model for a book-obsessed young girl growing up in India, but I credit Hardy, and the Romantic poets, with my initiation into writing. Something about Hardy’s grimness appealed enormously. I named the hero in my own novel after Hardy’s Gabriel, that laconic and patient farmer who knows, […]
My name is Alicia, and I’m a Goodreads-aholic. It’s been about thirty days since I last checked Goodreads. I first started checking Goodreads a whole six months before my book was released. I created an author profile and as soon as If I Tell You was there, with its grey pre-cover art image, I claimed […]
A lot of writers talk about failure—about checking the longlist of literary awards and competitions only to be disheartened. They also talk about learning from this, and persevering despite this. As the judge of the Margaret River Press Short Story Competition, can you tell us about how subjectivity factors into this and what this may […]
In 1985, when I was two years old, my parents moved to a farm on a road called Honeysett Lane about twenty k’s from a town called Gulgong. Back then Gulgong was the town on the ten dollar note and to this day when people ask me where I’m from, that’s how I describe it. […]
Over the years I have done my fair share of writing courses and I often wonder if they have made any difference to my writing outcomes. Have they really been a worthwhile investment towards improving my writerly craft? When balancing out the ledger sheet of pros and cons, I am confronted with copious squiggles of […]
I have a confession to make. Some of my short stories began their lives as novels. Novels that were cumbersome, messy affairs, that had no cogency or idea of an ending, some being relegated to the bottom drawer before they could even reach first draft status. But having been brought up in a household where […]
I don’t have an office so my writing desk is tucked away in the corner of the living room with plastic tubs filled with papers, old uni files and floor to ceiling shelves of books. A guilty shopping addiction, the books are now double banked and the smothered tomes seem to be creeping into other […]
What draws you to write short stories, and who has influenced your writing practice of this form? I had never written a short story until I started studying creative writing at university. Writers that influenced me included Tim O’Brien, Janet Frame, Jorge Luis Borges, and Alice Munro. O’Brien’s story, ‘The Things They Carried’ (1990), was […]
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