December 4th, 2008


I want to want to

My boss is taking a year off and thus has stepped down from his role in a radio program. He's said that if any of us are interested, he can get us the gig. Now that sounds sooooooo cool. And something I would love to do. Totally. And a couple of my work mates were like - that so sounds like you, you'd be good at it. And it does sound like me and the thing is, I really really want to want to do it.

But I don't.

It'd be great for my CV. It would be awesome to get media experience.

But ... it'd also be a lot of work and I am clearly overloaded enough to recognise I don't have any time for it. And hello?! OMG how is it that I am doing FOUR books next year?! And ... I kinda justify it by the fact that ... most of it is actually kind of done. We have almost finished the first round for New Ceres Nights ToC. We have almost locked in the ToC for A Book of Endings and will then be working on the new stories for that. And the other two books are the novellas.

Thing is ... I've been sort of mulling over the idea that since the TPP work for next year is mostly going to be figuring out how to make the cash flow work, getting books to print and then to sale, and mostly ASif stuff, I was kind of thinking that I might like to finish my PhD next year. And clearly I am thinking it seriously enough that I don't even want to contemplate the cool and shiny radio gig with free tix to stuff.

Weird. Yet true.

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.