Short Story Day Africa 2013 – The Interview!

As part of the Short Story Day Africa 2013 celebrations, we’ve compiled twenty-one interview questions our followers want to know about writers in Africa.
Global support for the project is growing. Participate! Post your answers on your blog before 21 June 2013, then forward the questions to another writer.
But, if any question makes you blush, just write blush and skip it. We’re not going to force you to disclose.
In the spirit of participation, I’ll go first.

The Interview

  1. Do you actually enjoy writing, or do you write because you like the finished product?
Sometimes I hate writing and it feels like every word I pull from my taxed brain leaves a headache in its wake. Othertimes it flows and I’m living in a different world. I write for Othertimes.
  1. What are you reading right now? And are you enjoying it? (No cheating and saying something that makes you sound like the intelligensia).
The Stranger’s Child by Alan Hollinghurst. I know I’ve been saying that since the beginning of June, but that’s how long I’ve been reading it. Short Story Day Africa keeps me busy, what’s your excuse?
  1. Have you ever killed off a character and regretted it?
No.
  1. If you could have any of your characters over for dinner, which would it be and why?
Joe Saviour and Next-Door-Auntie from Sister-Sister. I’d love to see them get drunk and argue about religion. It would be a hoot.
  1. Which one of your characters would you never invite into your home and why?
Oom Piet from Gem Squash Tokoloshe. I can’t watch people with bad table manners eat, and imagine he’d slurp the soup and suck the bones of the lamb chops.
  1. Ernest Hemingway said: write drunk, edit sober. For or against?
Definitely for.
  1. If against, are you for any other mind altering drug?
Does the American government monitor blog posts as well as emails? I’m still hoping for a big US deal and don’t want to ruin my book tour by not being let in to the country.
  1. Our adult competition theme if Feast, Famine and Potluck. Have you ever put food in your fiction? If so, what part did it play in the story?
The only food I can remember writing into a book was the one egg and mouldy potato in Sister-Sister. It was a plot device to show the characters couldn’t stay where they were.
  1. What’s the most annoying question anyone’s ever asked you in an interview?
What have you written?
  1. If you could be any author other than yourself, who would you be?
Neil Gaiman. He’s like the rock star of writers.
  1. If you could go back in time and erase one thing you had written from your writing history, what would it be and why?
I’m a slow writer. If I erased one thing, it would make me a debut novelist. Ask me again in twenty years.
  1. What’s the most blatant lie you’ve ever told?
I once told someone at a party that I was a writer, even though I had just left my job in advertising with the idea that I might pursue a life as a writer. I hadn’t actually written anything yet.
  1. If someone reviews you badly, do you write them into your next book/story and kill them?
With hot skewers.
  1. What’s your favourite bad reviewer revenge fantasy?
Making them eat every copy of the bad review.
  1. What’s the most frustrating thing about being a writer in Africa?
Being told your work is not relevant to a global audience.
  1. Have you ever written naked?
No.
  1. Does writing sex scenes make you blush?
Yes.
  1. Who would play you in the film of your life?
In a perfect world, that French actress that played Edith Piaf in La Vie en Rose. In an imperfect world, I don’t mind anyone other thanScarlett Johansson and Keira Knightly.
  1. If you won the Caine Prize for African Fiction, what would you do with the money?
I’d go somewhere I’d never been before.
  1. What do you consider your best piece of work to date?
Sister-Sister.
  1. What are you doing on 21 June 2013, to celebrate Short Story Day Africa?
Working my butt off  uploading stories, giveaways and other Short Story Day Africa things while drinking champaign. Then I’ll probably crawl into bed with all the stories writers shared for SSDA and just enjoy reading them.

2 comments

    1. Anonymous
    2. 4 years ago
    3. Reply

    Hey Rachel,
    I saw your first book at the second hand bookshop yesterday, and it felt like I still knew you, from the gardener forum way back. They wanted 40 bucks for it, and Tolkien was 35

    1. Rachel Zadok
    2. 4 years ago
    3. Reply

    Thanks Anonymous. Wish I could say I remember you, but you're anonymous so I guess not. 🙂

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