The first author that we are interviewing is Clare Rhoden, whose stories featured in our ‘Where the Weird Things Are Volume 1’ and ‘Stories of Hope’ anthologies.
Hello Clare. To get started, can you tell us a bit about yourself – who you are, where you live, a hobby / passion you have outside writing?
I live in Narrm (Melbourne) with a devoted husband and a very smart dog. My mission is to find ONE HOUR A DAY to write. Sounds easy, yes? BWAHAHA!!! My Doctor is Tom Baker, my star sign is Cancer, and the captain of my Enterprise is Pike. My shameful secret is listening to video game music while I write. Either that or (looks sideways to see if anyone’s taking notice) Coldplay!
What do you write, and why?
I write to stop my brain hurting. Getting ideas down is the only way to stop them forever interrupting my … Sorry, what were you saying?
You’ve been writing for a while now – how has your writing process changed and developed in that time?
I finished a PhD in Creative Writing in 2011, and I lived through its rigorous editing and self-doubt. That gave me the confidence to start submitting my stories, because what’s the worst that can happen? Since then I’ve learned loads from groups like Aussie Speculative Fiction and attending workshops with Writers Vic. The support from the sidelines that these groups can give you is priceless. My writing is more collaborative and I’ve found my tribe. I love the sharing and the honest feedback that challenges me to find a better word, a more joyful word, a scroll-stopping word.
What’s your definition of success?
Putting ‘writer’ in any form that asks me for ‘occupation’. Which is to say, being brave enough to call myself a writer.
What are you currently reading?
I’m lucky to have a regular supply of new speculative fiction from Aurealis magazine, because I review for them. I’ve just finished Thaw by Dennis Glover, which mesmerised me because it has a dual timeline: the 1912 Scott expedition to the Antarctic with all those irresistibly grisly snow deaths, and the near future when accelerated climate change is floating the Ross Ice Shelf and … no spoilers!
Tell us a little about a recent publication or (if you can) a story that might be coming out soon, or something that you’ve had published over the years that holds a special place in your heart.
Last year I edited an anthology of speculative fiction stories inspired by TS Eliot’s The Waste Land. It’s called From The Waste Land and it was published by PS Publishing UK. I’m SO proud of it: my first hardback! And I wrote a middle-grade fantasy (11+) featuring magic cats. I’m a dog person at heart but this story demanded to be written: How to Survive Your Magical Family was published by Odyssey Books last October.