Contributors, Interviews, Projects

Meet the Humans: Ever Dundas

UPDATE: We reached 25% ! Go you! Go us! Keep it up folks, share with your friends, family and comrades. 

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.


I’m a writer specialising in the weird and macabre, with Queer Theory (problematizing the ‘normal’) forming the backbone of my work. I write literary fiction, sci-fi, horror, and faVenice 2013ntasy. My first novel, Goblin, won the Saltire First Book of the Year Award 2017. I’m currently working on my second novel, HellSans, a science fiction thriller with disability as a major theme.

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[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?

[Ever]: Yes. Growing up, I was keenly aware of how oppressive gender could be. Because the backbone of all my writing is ‘queering the normal’ and defamiliarisation, tackling the way gender constrains our lives comes up a lot in my writing.

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

[E]: In terms of worldview, it makes me sad and disappointed that we allow gender to constrain our lives – there’s so much lost potential, and so many lost lives. As a writer, I see how much it constrains creativity – writers peddling the same boring gender norms just make me roll my eyes with boredom. We can do better.

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

[E]: It’s hard to narrow it down to one – pretty much every book I’ve read has been inspiring. I’ve wanted to write a novel since I was seven and the main books that cemented that ambition as a kid are Groosham Grange by Anthony Horowitz, Run For Your Life by David Line, The Great Ghost Rescue by Eva Ibbotson, and A Box of Nothing by Peter Dickinson. Films like The Princess Bride, Labyrinth and Time Bandits also inspired child-me.

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

[E]: Everything by comic writer and artist Charles Burns. I love his bizarre depiction of our world, and his incisive commentary on the rot beneath the suburban veneer. He also deals well with the way children try to make sense of an often baffling adult world, and he captures the fraught tensions of teendom (particularly in Black Hole). I adore his artwork – he’s renowned for heavily stylised large swathes of black ink against crisp white, but he also uses colour to great (and nauseating) effect in the Last Look trilogy. If you want delicious art, existential angst, and lashing of strangeness and body horror, Burns is your creature.

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

[E]: The Vegetarian by Han Kang and Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer. I wouldn’t change anything – they’re both perfect.

[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?

[E]: Jane Austen’s books.

Not the most famous, but I wish I’d seen one of the professional productions of Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

I’ve purposively avoided all albums by Oasis and Blur.

I haven’t seen LaLaLand because I’m convinced it will irritate me. I might be proved wrong…

I’ve still to watch The Handmaid’s Tale.

[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?

[E]: Up until a couple of years ago it was 2001 by Arthur C Clarke. Now it’s everything by Joan Didion.

[KEP] Tea or coffee?

[E]: Damn fine coffee.

[KEP] Early morning or late into the night?

[E]: The gloaming.

[KEP] Digital or analogue?

[E]: Both.

 


Would you like to support #QueerQuarrels?

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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: 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.
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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