Contributors, Interviews, Projects

Meet the Humans: Julya Oui

As part of our campaign we will be introducing you to our contributors – the fabulous, creative and talented people we’ve recruited for this project.


Being an author and a screenwriter Julya Oui believes in keeping monsters, having nightmares, and dreaming up worlds that defy logic. While Mother Nature inspires her, mindbending curiosities motivate her. She lives in a town known as the City of Everlasting Peace, or Taiping, somewhere north of Malaysia. She is also a pluviophile and an entomophile who loves shinrin-yoku.
BioPixHiRes.JPGYou can find her here and here.

[Knight Errant Press]: Is gender identity a theme that comes up a lot in your writing? If not, what pushed you to explore it this time around?

Yes. It’s not so much of a question as to why or how but a question of being realistic.

[KEP]: Has exploring gender affected your worldview and your writing and reading habits?

Definitely. I have seen the world through different physical forms. How I was treated for being so gave me insights I have never known or seen before through a series of actions and reactions. That is why it’s always nice to read a book without having to focus on the characters’ physical forms which can easily be misconstrued for what they’re not, like how it is in real life.

[KEP]: Was there a particular book, short story, poem or event in your life that inspired you to write your own?

[J]: I grew up with Pan Book of Horror Stories, doses of The Twilight Zone, and superstitions in my little old town. But what inspired me to pursue the love of my life and kept me going was The Lesson of the Moth by Don Marquis.

[KEP]: What author or book do you think is most underrated? And why?

[J]: Jungle without Water by Sreedhevi Iyer. She made me laugh and cringe and upset at how wonderful and terrible life can be at the same time.

[KEP]: Is there any book, written by someone else, that you wish you’d written? Would you change it, if yes – how? 

[J]: The Old Man who read Love Stories by Luis Sepulveda. I wouldn’t change a thing. It’s too beautiful to change even a single word but I would like to write something as gorgeous as this some day.

[KEP]: What’s the most famous book you haven’t read?/play you haven’t seen?/album you haven’t listened to?/film and TV series you haven’t watched?

[J]: I have not read a lot of classics but I guess the most outstanding thing I haven’t done recently is to watch or read Game of Thrones. I still haven’t a clue what I am missing.

[KEP]: Do you ever feel like you have book FOMO (fear of missing out) because of a famous title you haven’t had the chance to read, if so, which one?

[J]: Yes. All the time. I’m a slow reader and I can only go as fast as my love for reading can allow me to. I would like to get my hands on Yesterday by Felicia Yap. Futuristic murder mystery? Hell, yes!

[KEP]: Tea or coffee?

[J]: Tea.

[KEP]: Early morning or late into the night?

[J]: Early morning.

[KEP]: Digital or analogue?

[J]: Both. Depending on the situation.

 


GetFileAttachmentWould you like to support #QueerQuarrels?

Here are a couple of the ways you can do so:

  1. pre-order the book (and other perks) on Kickstarter
  2. boost us on Thunderclap
  3. support us by sharing and retweeting on Facebook and Twitter!
  4. if you’re in Edinburgh, Scotland – pick up a copy of our preview booklet @LighthouseBooks
Contributors, Interviews, Projects

Meet the Humans: Douglas Bruton

UPDATE: On Tuesday 13th February Kickstarter selected us as a “Project We Love” and we went over £1,000 in funding! That’s 15% in less than 5 days. Exciting times. You can now find us in Publishing > New & Noteworthy.

As part of our campaign we will be introducing you to our contributors – the fabulous, creative and talented people we’ve recruited for this project.


Douglas Bruton is a teacher in a high school in Scotland. He hopes he is a teacher that the children will talk about fondly when they are grown up and remembering. He writes, too, because he has stories in his head. Sometimes his stories have something to say, about life and love and universal compassion – and those are his best stories.
image 2(1).jpg
He has been published in many nice places and by good people including Brittle Star Magazine, The Irish Literary Review and Fiction Attic Press and Freight Books. 

[Knight Errant Press]: Is gender identity a theme that comes up a lot in your writing? If not, what pushed you to explore it this time around

[Douglas]: Gender identity is something I cover in classroom discussions at the school where I teach. I am no expert, but I try to cover the topic with an openness and an honesty.

[KEP]: Has exploring gender affected your worldview and your writing and reading habits?

[D]: The subject has not affected my worldview – I approach everything in life with a need to understand and a desire to live in peace and love and with a universal compassion – yes I am that 70’s hippy.

[KEP]: Was there a particular book, short story, poem or event in your life that inspired you to write your own?

[D]: Fell in love with books when I was 11, Stig of The Dump and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and The Borrowers… but no one book turned me into a writer. The late and great British film producer, David Lean, in a TV interview once said that he had no great message to impart in his films; he just told stories. I think this may have been a bit disingenuous, but it turned me into a writer… I had been sitting around for years waiting for something important to say and this gave me permission to just tell stories. However, I hope that my stories embody a universal compassion and if there is a message in anything I write it is this.

[KEP]: What author or book do you think is most underrated? And why? (Prime time for some reading recommendations.)

[D]: The Passion by Jeanette Winterson. I think it is an incredible and magical read. It would be in my top ten… and I rarely hear people talking about it. I also want to yell from the rooftop that everyone who writes and takes writing seriously should read George Saunders’ short story ‘Escape From Spiderhead’… it is absolutely stunning and perfect. It appears in his collection Tenth of December. Go read it now!

[KEP]: Is there any book, written by someone else, that you wish you’d written? Would you change it, if yes – how?

[D]: The Coward’s Tale by Vanessa Gebbie – deserves to be more widely read. I’d change the title, which I do not think serves the book well and would not tempt me to pick it up. Also, the author chooses to bookend the novel with one story, teling half of it at the start and returning to it at the end of the novel to finish the story. In principle this is a neat idea… but the story (which is incredible and wonderful) loses some of it’s power by being split in this way in my opinion.

[KEP]: What’s the most famous book you haven’t read?/play you haven’t seen?/album you haven’t listened to?/film and TV series you haven’t watched?

[D]: It’s a bit of a bad joke now, having been an English teacher for many years, but I have not read Orwell’s 1984. I was saving it for that year, but 1984 must have been a very busy year for me because it just passed me by… and then it was like history! I know I should read it… maybe when I retire.

[KEP]: Do you ever feel like you have book FOMO (fear of missing out) because of a famous title you haven’t had the chance to read, if so, which one?

[D]: Not really. I have hundreds of unread books piled up on shelves and on my bedroom floor. I used to worry that one day I’d die without having read them all or that I’d die in the middle of a book and never know the ending. I used to finish every book I started reading even if I was not enjoying it. Now I am less anxious about the books I have not read… a little more anxious about dying though.

[KEP]: Tea or coffee?

[D]: Tea. Can’t even eat coffee flavoured chocolates. I know, my loss… but I just can’t.

[KEP]: Early morning or late into the night?

[D]: Late into the night – especially if I’m not working the next day.

[KEP]: Digital or analogue?

[D]: Analogue watch, digital alarm clock. Go figure!

 


GetFileAttachmentWould you like to support #QueerQuarrels?

Here are a couple of the ways you can do so:

  1. pre-order the book (and other perks) on Kickstarter
  2. boost us on Thunderclap
  3. support us by sharing and retweeting on Facebook and Twitter!
  4. if you’re in Edinburgh, Scotland – pick up a copy of our preview booklet @LighthouseBooks
Contributors, Interviews, Projects

Meet the Humans: Freddie Alexander

UPDATE: This week kicked off to a great start, we’ve reached our first milestone on Kickstarter – over £800 funded since Thursday 8th of February !

As part of our campaign we will be introducing you to our contributors – the fabulous, creative and talented people we’ve recruited for this project.


First up is Frederick “Freddie” Alexander, a writer and events organiser based in Edinburgh.

Chris Bee Photography
Photography by Chris Bee – Edinburgh, Scotland

Since 2013 he has been an organiser and host of the Inky Fingers Open Mic night, and has been an organiser of the University of Edinburgh’s Soapbox Open Mic. In 2014 he coordinated and hosted the second National UK University Poetry Slam. He currently works for the National Library of Scotland, and has been a freelance writer for Broadway Baby, Scotsgay, and Gutter Magazine.

When Freddie is not dwelling in library archives you can find him at @FredRAlexander (Twitter)

[Knight Errant Press]: Is gender identity a theme that comes up a lot in your writing? If not, what pushed you to explore it this time around?

[Freddie]: Gender identity is not something that I necessarily write about in an explicit sense. Having said that, much of my writing does orbit around forms of masculine identity. I am very interested in interrogating masculine forms of self identity, and sometimes pushing that into uncomfortable spaces.

[KEP]: Has exploring gender affected your worldview and your writing and reading habits?

[F]: I wouldn’t be able to pinpoint any specific way that has impacted my worldview, as it is very difficult to disentangle gender from how my own worldview is constructed. It is a very large thing, which is why it inspires so much art. Art is a way of refracting these large ideas through a prism. I’m always trying to turn this prism to see what new colours and shapes come out of it.

[KEP]: Was there a particular book, short story, poem or event in your life that inspired you to write your own?

[F]: The entire culture of fan fiction is something that I am hugely interested in. I don’t write it myself, but I find the attention and care that people put into these characters very inspiring. Add to that the often irreverent shipping that writers will employ with their characters, I find it very fun to read.

[KEP]: What author or book do you think is most underrated? And why? (Prime time for some reading recommendations.)

[F]: We by Yevgeny Zamyatin is an enormously under-exposed book in the West. It is a dystopian novel that was written in the early years of the Soviet revolution, and is simply brilliant. I think it is under-exposed in the UK because of the attention we like to give to George Orwell. 1984 is good, but We is simply outstanding, and it contains one of my favourite paragraphs of inner monologue in all of fiction. I would highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in dystopian or political fiction.

[KEP]: What’s the most famous book you haven’t read?/play you haven’t seen?/album you haven’t listened to?/film and TV series you haven’t watched?

[F]: I have never finished Pride and Prejudice. I keep getting about a quarter of the way through it and then am distracted by something or another. This is my boyfriend’s favourite book, and I feel terrible that I struggle with it so much.

[KEP]: Do you ever feel like you have book FOMO (fear of missing out) because of a famous title you haven’t had the chance to read, if so, which one?

[F]: I feel like I should enjoy David Mitchell more than I do. I have Cloud Atlas and The Bone Clocks on my shelf at home, and I find them fascinating as concepts, but every time I try to read them I find them just a little bit too difficult. I also vastly enjoy the Wachowski’s film adaptation of Cloud Atlas, so I feel that sometimes gets in my way.

[KEP]: Tea or coffee?

[F]: Tea. Preferably rooibos.

[KEP]: Early morning or late into the night?

[F]: Late into the night, but rarely past midnight. If there is a WWE pay-per-view you may find me staying up until 4am though.

[KEP]: Digital or analogue?

[F]: I find it easier to organise myself in analogue, but I often choose digital out of expediency. I’m making the move to analogue though, as I keep on losing things…


GetFileAttachmentWould you like to support #QueerQuarrels?

Here are a couple of the ways you can do so:

  1. pre-order the book (and other perks) on Kickstarter
  2. boost us on Thunderclap
  3. support us by sharing and retweeting on Facebook and Twitter!
  4. if you’re in Edinburgh, Scotland – pick up a copy of our preview booklet @LighthouseBooks