The Aussie Spec Fic Snapshot, a series of short interviews with Australian writers of speculative fiction, has taken place five times in the past 11 years. This year, a team of eighteen interviewers have been emailing writers around the country and asking them intriguing questions. And I’m one of those interviewed writers, with my interviewer being Belle McQuattie. So here’s an extract from the interview: a question focussing on my PHD work:
You’re writing Ghost Squad as part of your creative writing PhD at the moment, has this affected how you have approached writing the book?
Yes, it has. I’m writing the novel at the same time as I’m researching material for its accompanying academic exegesis, which is on the very interesting speculative fiction sub-genre of afterlife fiction, specifically YA afterlife fiction (ie novels set in the afterlife). This means that not only am I reading a lot of really fabulous novels that I would not necessarily have come across otherwise, but as part of the cultural context of afterlife fiction, I’m taking in some very interesting background stuff, such as Victorian gothic and ghost stories, and screen-based narratives, especially TV series, which have the general theme of afterlife, or return from the dead: including Les Revenants(the French series, known as The Returned in English), the Australian Tv series The Glitch, Resurrection(US) and also the very successful earlier series, Lost. It’s fascinating stuff! Because of this, I’m coming up with all kinds of insights and ideas which are feeding back into the creative work as much as the academic work. And vie versa too–my work on the novel is feeding back into the academic study. As a synergy, it’s working really well.
You can read the whole interview here.