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.
In episode 21 we sit down with Mathias Énard, winner of the Prix Goncourt, to speak to him about his process, the line between history and fiction and the benefits of a good pair of slippers.
Mathias’ work includes the novels ‘Zone’, ‘Compass’, ‘Street of Thieves’ and ‘Tell them of Battles, Kings and Elephants’ which he was promoting when we spoke to him towards the end of last year. All of these novels have been published by Fitzcarraldo Editions and can be purchased here: https://fitzcarraldoeditions.com/authors/mathias-enard
Apologies once more for a couple of audio glitches on this episode – we’re working on it.
As we mention at the beginning, there were some technical issues with the sound on one of the microphones in this episode – apologies, but it should sound ok if you’re listening on earphones/headphones.
In episode 18, we speak to Marc Nash, most recently author of ‘Three Dreams in the Key of G’, published by Dead Ink in 2018.
Marc joined us in London to discuss choosing the playlist to write to, intense bursts of writing during the summer holidays, using the editing process to add material rather than remove, playing through language, writing across gender and plenty more.