Catching up on… The Writer’s Room Interviews

I’ve mentioned this fabulous suite of interviews before but really, they are such a great source of information and insight that it’s worth mentioning them again. You really should subscribe. (It’s The Writer’s Room and you can go here to find out more.)

Author Charlotte Wood established this project earlier this year? Late last year? A series of interviews with Australian (so far) writers of varying types.  They are long-form pieces, in the style of the Paris Review model, and they are packed with observations, discussion and information not just about the featured writer’s works but about their processes and problem-solving and general/specific beliefs about the art and craft of writing. I get frustrated with shorter pieces, where the focus can be on fripperies and there is no space to ‘go deep.’ But oh no, not with these babies.

The first interview in January this year was with author Amanda Lohrey and while I’d not heard of her, the interview was fascinating and I made copious notes, particularly about Lohrey‘s processes and thoughts about writing.

Interview 2 was with screenwriter David Roach and while I wondered whether it would be as relevant to me as the previous fiction writer, I quickly realised yes,of course it was bloody relevant. Writing is often writing and all about getting it done, and also there can be commonalities when it comes to process, telling the story, working out narrative and structure and character stuff. Inspiration and the creative drive, also drafting habits and editing too; all these things are fascinating to me and I think to other reader/writers too.

Interview 3 was with Margo Lanagan and number 4 with Miles Franklin winner Kim Scott. This morning on twitter I put out a couple of quotations from Lanagan‘s interview but — again,  frustrating having that piddly character limit.

Wood’s approach is masterful. She goes deep and broad. Brilliant. And because she’s a writer as well as a keen and appreciative reader, her questions emanate from that position, so instead of us hearing about what these writers like for breakfast, or about their wardrobes, or partners or domestic animals, we hear about their process, their struggles with working stuff out, writing routines (or not), influences and inspirations and their rooms. About their writing lives not their personal lives. It’s wonderful too because these are local people and the things they talk about are closer to home than, say, an interview with Zadie Smith or George Saunders.

If you are a serious reader or review, or a writer or all of that, these interviews are very good value for the money and a project that deserves support. I just hope Charlotte Wood keeps ’em coming because there’s no shortage of writers I’d love to hear about and every interview is unique,  bringing new revelations, new ideas and new learning to this reader for sure.

Find The Writer’s Room Interviews at
http://www.charlottewood.com.au/writersroom.html

 

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