Friday, December 27, 2013

INTERVIEW: VAN ROBERTS


Name? Van Roberts

Age? (Feel free to ignore this question completely)

Location? Melbourne, Australia

How long have you been writing?
I’ve always loved words and learning to read and write in primary school opened the world to me. I scribbled my way through High School and University, but I didn’t start really writing until about five years’ ago.

Do you have a specific writing style?
Is whimsical a style? My writing has been called ‘quirky’, a word I’m not fond of.

Do you write as a career?
I do copywriting and articles on a freelance basis, but as many writers find  - it’s hard to make a living this way! I run Little Raven (www.littleravenpublishing.com), an erotic fiction publishing house. We started out with an open mic erotica event and two anthologies have come out of that, plus regular events and collaborations. I’ve always been a fan of erotica, but there seems to be a belief that because it’s about sex, it shouldn’t be good (eg, 50 shades). We publish stuff that’s hot, funny, sexy, interesting, unusual and…well-written. At the end of the day, we want to turn you on!

Do you write full-time?
As much as I can, but there’s Little Raven, my family, friends, other interests and just general fun I want to be having. I’m not one of those writers who has regular time set aside, I have to wait for inspiration to hit.

What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment as a writer?
Just being published is a thrill within itself and offers so much validation. Being in Australian Love Poems 2013 made me happy. I also really enjoyed creating a  photomontage book Two days until Norway.

What is your ultimate goal as a writer?
To keep writing and not judge myself too harshly.

What is your greatest challenge as a writer?
Finding the time, choosing to write over more immediately rewarding activities, and to silence my editor in the early stages.

What projects of yours have been recently published?
This year has been a good one for me, but more recently my poetry and articles have been in Noir Erasure Poetry Anthology, Sotto and Lingua Franca.

What are you currently working on and what inspired this work?
I lived in Mexico for three years and it continually pops up in my work, I can’t shake myself of that country. I’ve written quite a few stories set in Mexico or with a Mexican theme, so I’m turning it into a collection.


Tell me about your time in Mexico.
I’d always been fascinated by Mexico and bought a ticket, intending to stay a few months and then making my way south. I did make it to South America, but I fell in love with the country – and a Mexican – so I stayed for three years. I was briefly in San Luis Potosi but most of the time was in Mexico City. I lived in a ramshackle house in La Roma with my boyfriend, taught my strange Australian English to students, wrote poems and travelled around the city and country. It was a wonderful experience and I always think about Mexico. I need to get back!

Where can we find your work?
This page www.van-roberts.com has links to my work and www.littleravenpublishing.com is the publishing house I run.


       How often do you write?
       Once a week.

       How do you react to rejections?
     ‘Oh well…’ you really can’t take it personally.

       How do you react when one of your submissions is accepted for publication?
       I crack open the champagne, being published is highly addictive.

       What is your best piece of advice on how to stay sane as a writer?
      Don’t judge your output too harshly, we have more prolific times than others. I’ve worked     for hours on a short poem, whilst friends of mine have finished off novels! Just keep at it.

       What is your favorite book?
    I don’t have a favourite, but at the moment I’m really enjoying A Death in the Family by Karl Ove Knausgaard. I’ve also recently finished off Simon Reynolds’s Rip it up and start again. I go between fiction and non-fiction.

       Who is your favorite author?
Lately Junot Díaz, Chloe Hooper and Roberto Bolaño.

        If you could have dinner with one fictional character, who would it be and why?
I’ll have to go back to my eight-year-old self and pick Long John Silver from Treasure Island. I guess there’s part of me that wants adventure, danger and…to swashbuckle (is that a verb?). Plus, he has a brilliant name. 

        What is the greatest occupational hazard for a writer?
Self-doubt.

        What is your favorite word?
I think Cellophane is quite lovely.

    
What is your preferred drink while you write?
Coffee.

Beach or Mountains?
Mountains.

Cats or Dogs?
Dogs.

The Beatles or The Rolling Stones?
The Beatles.

Jimi Hendrix or Frank Sinatra?
I’m not that fond of either.

Shakespeare or Bukowski?
Bukowski.

            Tell me about animals in Australia.
Well, I live in Melbourne so I don’t run into much animal life. My parents live in the bush and when I visit them we’ll sit on the porch at twilight and a few kangaroos will hop past. But kangaroos aren’t that special, there are too many of them and they’ve become a pest and yes…you can buy kangaroo steaks and sausages at the supermarket. People are usually quite shocked. Yes, we eat Skippy. When I go on road trips I’ll occasionally see echidnas or koalas but they’re hard to see. What I really enjoy is the diverse bird life – and you see and hear them everywhere.

What food do you like?
I like eating but I hate cooking. I love all food: Mexican, Indian, Vietnamese, I have family in Japan so I love their food too. I eat everything!

     Please provide as much or as little of the following information as you’d like.

Personal website/blog: www.van-roberts.com
                  www.littleravenpublishing.com

Facebook profile or page:

Twitter profile:

Other page(s) or profile(s):

      Books for sale and/or press: Little Raven One, Little Raven Two (editor and writer)  www.littleravenpublishing.com/shop


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