Well, LiteraryMinded is five years old today, with an average of 2.2 posts per week since she began. That’s a lot of words. I’ve asked y’all to provide questions and prompts in order to spend the day writing a series of self-indulgent celebratory blog posts! Thanks so much for all the love. Here we go…
My response to that is: what happens in Prahran, stays in Prahran.
Paige Turner asks: ‘Where was your favourite place to blog from? And why?’
That would have to be in my darling partner’s aunt and uncle’s 18th century cottage in a tiny village called Huntley in Gloucestershire, England. The internet was slow as hell but I could look out at the birds and squirrels in the garden, and the deer in the field across the road. There were two Border Terriers at my feet, and my belly was full of cider and Red Leicester cheese.
I’ve always liked my name, though people mispronounce and misspell my surname all the time (it’s spelt Meyer and pronounced like Myer). I actually sign my first name with a star instead of an A and have done since I was about 15.
Kirsten Tranter asks: ‘What’s the most interesting experience you’ve had interviewing an author? What’s the secret to conducting a good interview?’
I think my favourite one-on-one interview on stage with an author was with Tom Cho at the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival in 2009. Unfortunately it was early in the morning and the audience was small. We read one of his stories out loud together, as a performance, and all Tom’s answers were so genuine and considered. I’m a big fan. I loved interviewing Alex Miller at Perth Writers Festival in 2010, too, as he’s one of my all-time favourite authors (you can listen to it here). He leaned over to me afterwards and thanked me for my knowledge and insight into his work. That was a moment to treasure.
I don’t think I’m an expert at interviewing at all, but some advice I could give would be to prepare well (read as much as you can of their work), be open-minded and show interest in their answers, and don’t talk about yourself too much. If it’s a famous author, read some other interviews so you’re not boring them (or their fans) with the same questions they always get asked.
Kirsten Tranter (from here):
This reminds me of how I feel in the early morning. Especially when I’m anxious or have something coming up, I have terrible nightmares.The other night G woke me up because I was whimpering and moaning in my sleep. I was having a nightmare where I was looking out at what I think was the supermoon (but it was daytime)—it was extremely bright—and then I fell into a lake. The lake was full of barrels that would just roll and roll if I tried to get on top of them.
Derek Motion asks: ‘who would you say are the other bloggers—say other emerging writers who were around blogging when you started—who have inspired you the MOST?’
You know your blog was one of the first I read, Derek! It’s hard to remember all the blogs I read at the beginning and I know I’ll leave someone out, but those who spring to mind (who did inspire me very much) are Genevieve Tucker, Kerryn Goldsworthy, Kim Forrester, Rachael King, Damon Young, Mark Sarvas, James Bradley, Mark Mordue and definitely Chris Currie and Krissy Kneen.
Graham Nunn asks: ‘Dylan wrote, ‘a poem is a naked person.’ What does that make a blog post?’
A blog post is a shaved cat with a piece of bread on its head.
I’m going to load up on carbs and start on part two…