Web Interview

Why are you an Author?

I have been writing for almost as long as I can remember. I always used to achieve extremely high marks for writing at school and everyone thought I would become a writer. Perhaps it was written in the stars? Certainly it seems like I had very little conscious choice in the matter.

What’s your favorite book?

Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for All and None, by Friedrich Nietzsche. I have an especially nice version which looks like an old bible. I have actually memorized a lot of the book too, and have a section to recite for almost any occasion.

When were you first published? By whom?

My first official publication was in the New Zealand Collection of Poetry and Prose, which was an anthology of the country’s top poets. At the time I was heavily inspired by the decadent, symbolist and Fin de Siècle arts movement – poets such as Baudelaire, Rimbaud, Mallarme …also authors such as Huysmans and Zola. There are much earlier pieces, but this is my first professional one.

Are you working under a Pen Name?

No. I used to use one, but people kept confusing me with another person who had the same name.

Do you read a lot? What are you reading now?

I used to read a lot more – about twenty books a week in my younger days due to extremely poor health and the fact that I have a reading speed of c.1,000 words per minute. These days however I find that I spend far longer writing items and working instead. Unfortunately there is a huge discrepancy between my reading speed and my typing speed {laughes}.

Currently I am reading two books – Fernando Pessoa, The Book of Disquiet & Kostas Vlassopoulos, Unthinking the Greek Polis: Ancient Greek History Beyond Eurocentrism. Pessoa’s style is interesting; I find his bleak portrayal of mundane existence to be possessed of an almost preternatural quality.

Have you won any contests or awards?

Yes – the Ashton Wylie Award for Literary Excellence in 2009, which is one of the largest literary awards in New Zealand.

Where do you find your muse? Bubble bath? Long walk? What works for you?

Music. I need music to create the mood and the context for what I write. Not only that, but it helps generate the atmosphere and the correct environment.

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