INTERVIEW WITH GLYNIS
What is your genre? Why did you choose it?
I think my genre chose me, Glynis. It wasn’t until my two short story collections were published this year, The View from Endless Street with WiDo Publishing and Mercy with Tartarus Press, that I realised my work was viewed as ‘strange’ or weird. So, having accepted that now, I regard my work as belonging somewhere within the range of the Literary Dark and ‘New Weird.’ Did I just make that last one up?
Do you work on more than one manuscript at a time?
I have done that in the past, but not very often, I prefer to stick with one piece of work and at least get it up to the last editing stage, [and there could be a dozen or so edits at least], before I put it aside to look at again later while working on something else. I’m not sure that a piece of fiction ever is finished, though.
Do you work with a writing/critique group?
I am a member of WriteWords, and have been for more than ten years now, I think. I’m the Short Story Group host there and I teach creative writing for Writewords. I have thought about joining other groups since then, but I get afraid of the amount of time, energy and commitment that might be involved.
Can you remember your first reading book?
No. I suspect it would’ve been of the Janet and John variety however where the notion that women and girls must behave one way and boys and men the other… did not quite succeed in entirely warping my mind..
Do you nibble on snacks while writing? If so, what is your chosen treat?
No, I don’t, but I might bring my lunch to my computer, or my breakfast to have while I work but that’s quite rare too.
No exactly a bombsite, but also not neurotically laid out with pens in a row. Right now I can see my open diary, my coffee pot and cup, my lens cleaner and pots of fountain pen ink, a couple of exercise books and some bits of A4 paper that probably have old information on them that I don’t need anymore, oh, and a bundle of small squares of paper for jotting down notes, and I do go through those most days and throw away what’s not needed.
Are you published in the traditional manner or self published? Share your journey.
This is entirely personal, but I wouldn’t feel that I was published if a company hadn’t invested in me both in terms of time and money and hope, so I only feel vindicated as a writer if my work is recognized and supported by a genuine old-fashioned publisher. I have withdrawn my books from publishers when they’ve offered me publishing contracts and I’ve come to realise they only deal in Ebooks. I want to see my books in print. Having two short story collections published this year does make me feel that I’m where I need to be and that the job now is to keep on writing and keep on submitting my work.
Who would you say have been the three most influential authors in your reading/writing life?
My writing itself isn’t influenced, as far as I know, by other writers even though it’s been likened to Aickman or Dahl. My writing is influenced by my life experiences and observations. But maybe my interest in writing was sparked by people like Jane Bowles, A.L Barker and Robert Aickman and perhaps in equal measure.
What advice would you like to share with other writers/authors with regard to preparing a manuscript?
Even if it sounds really fastidious and annoying, if a publisher wants you to present a manuscript in a certain way, follow the instructions to the very last detail. [This also applies to blog interviews like this one]. You see, if you can’t be bothered to do that, chances are the publisher can’t be bothered to read your work. So being ‘obedient’ in that regard is just common courtesy. However, if you encounter a publisher whose requirements appear to be neurotic or ridiculous, move onto someone else.
If the movie rights to your novels are purchased, who would you like to play your main characters?
There are so many different characters in my fiction work because I’m a short story writer, so this question is difficult to answer, could it just be Johnny Depp from about five years back to play all the characters and could it be in my contract that I have to work with him closely at all times? Ha-ha.
I was on my way to the supermarket, when … Do you have a tale to tell relating to an everyday, boring event?
I was on my way to the supermarket a couple of years ago and as I approached the bus stop I came across two elderly women who I think were sisters and they each had a live skunk slung across their shoulders rather like women did in the 1940’s with fox furs. The skunks had harnesses on and looked very well fed. Of course I stopped and spoke to them and discovered that the skunk women didn’t live in my part of town but were waiting for a bus to take them home. They said to me ‘Don’t touch the skunks, dear, they’re feeling rather bad tempered this morning.’
Oh my! How brave!
REBECCA LLOYD BIO AND LINKS TO BOOKS
Rebecca Lloyd writes short stories and novels. Her stories are dark and strange and many of them have been published in literary magazines and anthologies. She won the Bristol Prize 2008 for her story The River and her short story collection Don’t Drink the Water was a semi-finalist in the Hudson Prize 2010, while in the same year her novel Under the Exquisite Gaze was shortlisted in the Dundee International Book Prize. Her children’s novel, Halfling, was published by Walker Books in 2011, she is co-editor, with Indira Chandrasekhar, of Pangea an Anthology of Stories from Around the Globe, [Thames River Press 2012], and developmental editor of The Female Ward by Debalina Haldar, [Thames River Press 2013]. She had two short story collections published this year, Mercy by Tartarus Press and The View From Endless Street by WiDo Publishing. A third collection Whelp and Other Stories was a finalist in the Paul Bowles Short Fiction Award 2014.