I published a superb short story – Shadow Puppetry over at The Forge Literary Magazine. Please do read it; it’s one of our nominations for the Pushcart Prize and is something special. Thank you Jane Flett for taking part in one of my Smash Lits interviews.
1) How do you organise your bookshelves?
Alphabetically and also divided into novels/short stories/poetry. Also I have a special section for books of witchcraft and cults, and one for Stephen King and other books to read in the bath.
2) What is your favourite cheese?
A really sharp cheddar.
3) Bacon VS Tofu—who wins? Why?
Tofu—specifically Mapo Tofu with a holy fuck-ton of Sichuan chilli bean paste. Bacon is pretty tasty but tofu is a sponge you can turn into whatever you like, and that is a quality I find appealing in food. Possibly also in humans.
4) What colour is Wednesday?
Black and white like piano keys.
5) You have to swap places with one other writer for a week. Who and why?
Alissa Nutting, to see how it feels in the glorious and filthy innards of her brain.
6) Have you ever had your fortune told?
Of course! I’m a witch, I do tarot all the time. Also I have a soft spot for those old arcade machines you place your palm on and they give you a printed out page of your destiny.
7) What lighting do you have in your living room?
Lamps and candles, and sometimes a red rope light.
8) What’s your most vivid childhood memory?
Splitting my chin open at playschool because I dared a boy he couldn’t stand on a wobbly block for 5 seconds. He couldn’t. Me, I could do it for 4 seconds and a half…
9) Who is your favourite Neighbours character?
I don’t know anything about Neighbours, except that when I was younger I had a cassette tape of Kylie & Jason and now I have Especially for You stuck in my head. So them.
10) Did you have an invisible friend when you were younger?
No. I did have a hand puppet of a hedgehog called Hedgey though, and also my brother and I made friends with a napkin ring that had an alter-ego of a fat lady opera singer called AwMiLaw. She would fly around the kitchen and sing opera songs in a beautiful and not-at-all annoying voice.
11) What sandwiches would you make for a picnic with Zadie Smith?
I like the number of food-related questions in this interview. I would take a fondue kit in my wicker basket and she would find that charming.
12) You are wallpaper. What is your pattern?
The wallpaper that’s in my kitchen and author photograph: big 70s red and orange poppies on a white background.
13) What was the last text you sent?
“Ahh we are so hungry!”
14) Do you think Antiques Roadshow is boring?
I don’t know it, can we talk about Gladiators instead? I have a lot more feelings about Gladiators. We had gerbils called Jet and Lightning as kids and I spent a lot of time pretending to do the Eliminator in the school playground.
15) How much money did you spend yesterday?
I am in Madrid, so a lot more than usual! About €50 on Colombian baked goods, calamari sandwiches, and many many beers in the gay bar.
16) What is your most played song at the moment?
9–5 by Dolly Parton (this is almost always true).
17) What question should I have asked you?`
“Can I get you a drink while you answer these questions?”
18) What’s your favourite swear?
Cunt. I like that it upsets people who think vaginas are horrifying.
(I agree wholeheartedly. What’s up with that? Cunts.)
19) Do you like spiders?
Sure. I haven’t met all of them though.
20) Mermaids, dinosaurs or unicorns?
One glorious hybrid to rule them all.