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Kicking back with Deborah Biancotti

Twelfth Planet Press interviews Deborah Biancotti.

What upcoming works *do* you have on, Biancotti?

So I've got this novella for Gilgamesh Press coming out in 2010, part of a 3-novella package on the goddess Ishtar -- goddess of both love and war. How'd she manage to grab both THOSE little titles, eh? She sounds interesting. The other two novellas will be supplied by Kaaron Warren & Cat Sparks.

I'm also working on a story suite I'm calling Bad Power. I'm probably about halfway through that, & hope to see a couple of the stories in print in the next couple years.

And there's my albatross. Sorry, my novel. Which is a mess, but a colourful mess. Like fingerpainting. It's a near future parallel universe. Or a futuristic psychological thriller, depending what marketing label you prefer.

Where to from here?

Probably to lunch, it's about that time of day.

How hard is it to be a writer? How hard do you work and what's your advice to up and coming hopeful new Aussie writers?

Well, if you WANT to be a writer, than not-writing is harder than writing, so it kinda doesn't matter how hard writing is. Dorothy Parker said of suicide that it was so difficult, you 'may as well live'. I say the same about writing. 'May as well write', right?

What makes it hard is trying to balance it with the rest of your life. Especially if, like most writers, you're also committed to a day job (because you like to eat and pay your bills off, that sort of thing) and you actually want to have friends and family. You don't necessarily want to give up that stuff. Money is nice, and friends can be a fruitful source of inspiration! I'm not into the idea writers are meant to take a vow of poverty and forsake all worldly relations. Those writers are boring. What could they have to say that the rest of us could possibly want to listen to?
How hard do I work? Tough question. I write pretty much every day, sometimes for half an hour, sometimes more. I never intended to be one of those every-day writers (some of them are BORING) -- but I accidentally became ambitious about my writing last year when I started my novel. Suddenly I really wanted good stuff to happen for my so-called 'career'. The extra effort was the natural consequence of that. So I work harder than I used to, but I still largely get to set my own hours. Provided I don't want to write when I'm at my day job.

Or, well, sometimes even then. (Don't tell anyone I said that.)

But, y'know, writers don't HAVE to write every day. I stand by that.

My advice to new writers is: ignore almost every scrap of advice you receive & go your own way. But don't ignore this scrap. It's important.

On your blog you talk a lot about the mundanities and grittiness that you observe in your daily life in Sydney. To what extent does that influence your work?

Funny, I never really meant for it to be an influence. Enough people write about cities, or Sydney, or modern life, I thought. But about a year ago I started reading a lot of detective/crime/thriller fiction & found I was really loving the detail of those stories. The heat of the pavement through the soles of your shoes, the noise, the dust, the crowdedness of the streets, the craziness that crowdedness invokes. So I'm adopting it more and more into my new stuff and really liking it. I think it's definitely a direction I want to explore more.


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