Viva Editor Profile 2 - Patrick Allington

Name: Patrick Allington p_allington

Twitter: @PatrAllington


Literary pets? Always first: a ripper story. Beyond that, that intangible extra sensation — it’s like an elongated sharp intake of breath. Yes, I want to be entrapped within the worlds that writers create. Yes, I want to read stories that convince and transfix and unsettle me from start to finish, and which leave me awed and envious. Yes, I want to read books that I’m still thinking about weeks and months later. But none of that really captures the sensation of that indefinable ‘extra’.

Favorite novellas? I love Carson McCullers’s The Ballad of the Sad Cafe (1951). I re-read it recently for the first time in ages and was surprised all over again by how seriously good, weird, funny, sad it is. It’s truly her own. Others that stick with me, and which I go back to again and again, include: Saul Bellow’s The Bellarosa Connection; David Malouf’s ‘The Valley of Lagoons’ (maybe that’s a long short story) from his collection Every Move You Make, which I think is one of Malouf’s two or three best books; Marguerite Duras’s The Lover; Graham Greene’s The Quiet American (or is that a short novel?); Evelyn Waugh’s Scoop (I suppose that’s definitely a small novel); and so on …

Why do you get up in the morning? I get up in the morning in the hope (usually futile) that I’ll squeeze some fiction writing in before my 4-year-old daughter wakes up.

What else are you involved in? I’m juggling so many writing, reviewing and editing tasks I can’t bring myself to list them. The epic saga that is my second novel is drawing to a close … I think, I hope. It’s so close to finished I can smell it. I have another novel, a screenplay, and a couple of novellas in various states of disarrary.

Viva Editor Profile 1 - Carody Culver

Name: Carody Culver KillYourDarlings-9332

Twitter handle: @carodyc


Other linkage: (book review blog)

Literary pets: I have a big weakness for YA fiction, especially if it doesn't involve anything supernatural or dystopian—call me boring, call me a masochist, but I love nothing more than a good old-fashioned dose of real-world teenage angst. Memorable YA novels I've read recently include Some Day This Pain Will be Useful to You by Peter Cameron and The Accident by Kate Hendricks.

I love literary fiction that doesn't take itself too seriously; complex characters, and sentences that make me wish I'd written them myself. I'm a huge fan of Jonathan Dee, Jennifer Egan, David Mitchell, Martin Amis, Daphne du Maurier, Alan Hollinghurst, and Julian Barnes.

Sometimes—like maybe twice a year—I read a book that isn't fiction, vow that I'll do this more often, and then pick up a novel and immediately forget my resolution.

What are your favorite novellas? I love Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote (I also love the film and remember being surprised by how different it was to the book), The Turn of the Screw by Henry James, The Mist by Stephen King, The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes (I think this counts as a novella…), and Bonjour Tristesse by François Sagan.

Why do you get up in the morning? Breakfast. I love food and can think of no better way to start the day. On a more serious note, loving what I do and feeling genuinely enthusiastic about my work—and, just as importantly, the people with whom I work—is what (eventually) makes me throw back the covers and start the day (although I can't pretend that decent coffee doesn't also play a significant part in this process).

What else are you involved in? I work at two of Brisbane's best independent bookshops, Avid Reader in West End and Black Cat Books in Paddington, where I get to talk about books all day and pour my wages straight back into the till. I'm a regular Contributing Editor at Peppermint, Australia's first sustainable fashion and lifestyle magazine, and a freelance writer and editor.

Anything else you'd like to mention? Here's a little something for my fellow grammar nerds—it's been confirmed that we're officially amazing: