In this month’s episode we took a wild ride with David Keenan. David was born in Glasgow and grew up in Airdrie, in the west of Scotland, in the late-70s and early-1980s. He is the author of three novels, the cult classic This Is Memorial Device, which won the Collyer Bristow/London Magazine Award for Debut Fiction 2018 and was shortlisted for the Gordon Burn Prize, For The Good Times, which won the Gordon Burn Prize in 2019, and Xstabeth.
We travelled far and wide in this episode, covering, amongst much else: using faith in your writing as your only compass, performing a DJ set in Tolstoy’s front garden, the beauty of a character from a previous novel turning up unexpectedly in later work and lucky cap disposal.
“Research is an excuse for not inventing.”
If you’d like to take a step into David’s personal chill-space, the books he mentioned are: ‘Incised Effigial Slabs’ by F. A. Greenhill (1976) and ‘Monastic Architecture in France’ by Joan Evans (1964).
In this month’s episode we speak to Gabriel Josipovici. Gabriel’s first novel was published in 1968 and his writing career spans over twenty works of fiction, numerous works of criticism and non-fiction, and regular articles in the TLS.
Continuing our current coronavirus set-up, Gabriel joined us remotely from Sussex and our discussion covered how his writing has developed over six decades, the perils of writing an unexpectedly backlash-provoking book on Modernism, the creative possibilities revealed by examining painters & composers and much more.
The ‘acceptably long’ novel we briefly discussed was George Perec’s ‘Life: A User’s Manual’
“What you push against is as important as what you reach towards”
On this month’s episode we speak to Irish-Canadian author Anakana Schofield, author of Malarky (2012), Martin John (2015) and Bina (2019).
Anakana joined us from the West Coast of Canada to discuss representations of older women in fiction, the musical score of the novel and missing out on multiple Christmases to complete her work, plus much else besides.
Episode 31 of Unsound Methods – Reading and Writing in the time of lockdown…Something a little different this month as Lochlan and Jaimie pause to review how the COVID-19 lockdown has impacted their reading and writing, and to take a look back at the teenage reading paths that led them to experimental/innovative fiction.
We’d love to hear about your lockdown reading and writing and the reading path you’ve taken through the fiction forest. Contact us through Twitter, or email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
In episode 30, we speak to writer, translator and musician, Jen Calleja, author of the short story collection ‘I’m Afraid that’s All We’ve Got Time For’ (2020, Prototype).
We (remotely, respecting social distancing!) discuss bus travel as fertile ground for creativity, writing across different forms – from translation to poetry, novels and short stories, and the insight gained from working with writers whose work you are translating – and plenty more besides.
*** There is a very slight technical glitch with this episode’s sound, but we’ve fixed it as best we can – apologies if the sound isn’t quite as clean as it usually is ***
As a writer who works in Uzbek, Russian and English, our discussion took us on a Eurasian tour of societies, cultures and languages. Hamid outlined his ‘writing a book during autumn and winter’ approach, and we learnt a bit more about what it’s like to be banned in your own country (not just his work, Hamid continues to be prohibited from entering Uzbekistan to this day).
This episode is a little different to our usual output as we speak to Jonathan Simons: publisher, writer, editor, musician, occasional translator, and the person behind the Analog Sea Review.
The Analog Sea is an ‘offline publisher of printed books’, but there’s much more to it that that – as you will hear, Jonathan’s entire approach involves shunning the online world, almost as a revolutionary act. We discuss the reasons behind this approach, the insights it provides and the contradictions that it inevitably involves.
In episode 25, we speak to Tony White, author of ‘The Fountain in the Forest’ (Faber, 2018) as well as ‘Road Rage’, ‘Satan Satan Satan’, ‘Charlieunclenorfolktango’, ‘Foxy-T’, ‘Shackleton’s Man Goes South’, the non-fiction title ‘Another Fool in the Balkans’, and many other short stories, novellas and collaborations.
He was writer in residence at the Science Museum, and his novella with artists Blast Theory, ‘Zombies Ate My Library’, was shortlisted for for best novella in the Saboteur Awards 2017.
We spoke to Tony about using mandated vocabulary, how working with artists who use other forms can lead to new approaches, writing a novel in Multicultural London English, and much more.
In Episode 23 we speak to Mazin Saleem, the author of ‘the Prick’, published as part of Open Pen’s series of novelettes. We speak to Mazin about discovering that you’re not really a night-owl, using software to improve your writing productivity, and the freedom of jumping around the manuscript while editing to keep things fresh.
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In episode 22, we speak to Shiromi Pinto, the author of ‘Plastic Emotions’ (2019, Influx Press) and ‘Trussed’ (2006, Serpent’s Tail). You can order Plastic Emotions here.
We spoke to Shiromi about her use of real letters to produce fiction; what she does with her writing offcuts; how far 500 words a day can get you; and losing faith, spiking a project, and then finding the courage to pick it up again to drag it all the way to publication.