The last of our Viva la Novella Shortlister profiles, meet A.S. Patric. What do you do in your day job/life? I work in a bookstore. That’s easy, but, what do I do in my life? A glib response might be best, but I think we’ve all had enough of (140 characters or less) glibness. The reason I write might be both a way of understanding that second question and answering it at the same time.
Do you have a process for writing or does it depend on the project? You start by thinking that you go about writing a story, novel, poem, screenplay, etc. as if each of those projects had an ideal methodology. You might start thinking conversely that the process is really about developing a method of living, and end up getting rid of the method and being pure process. That sounds highfaluting, but I just mean that the whole point is not to churn out product as though it was a sausage making process.
What’s the one invention that you thought would have been invented by now? Skynet. Wasn’t It supposed to be activated in 1997?
A piece of advice your sixteen year old self would give you. Honestly, my sixteen-year-old self would simply be happy to see I got a few books published. I grew up in the western suburbs of Melbourne and no-one was a writer over there. I didn’t know many kids who even read for pleasure. When I started writing there was a feeling of anxiety, that lasted for the next decade or so, that someone would come and tell me I wasn’t supposed to be doing this. Every day I was able to keep writing was surprising, each one allowing me these wonderful muted moments of liberation. So my sixteen-year-old self wouldn’t have any advice but would probably be dismayed that I no longer read or want to write Science Fiction.
What’s next? I’ve just finished a novel called Life on Crumbs. Since I’ve published two collections in the last two years, most people would assume I was a short story specialist and this is the inevitable novel. And yet I began Life on Crumbs in 2009 when I started writing all those short stories, so this is the end of one period of writing. I’m excited by the prospect of publishing a novel next year. I’m also delighted that my novella shortlisted for this competition will be published in October this year by Finlay Lloyd. It will be called Bruno Kramzer.
Visit A.S. Patric's blog: a.s.patric.Ink