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SA Partridge

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

21 questions for Short Story Day

The awesome ladies at Short Story Day Africa crowdsourced twenty-one questions for writers taking part in the initiative, so here I go.

1. Do you actually enjoy writing, or do you write because you like the finished product?
I write because I have to. It’s a compulsion. If I don’t write the stories waiting to be told pile up in my brain and start screaming for attention. Untold stories are two year olds basically.

2.What are you reading right now? And are you enjoying it? (No cheating and saying something that makes you sound like the intelligensia.
I am reading Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins because (shock, horror!) I lost interest after book one and I’ve only just got back into the series. I’m simply dying to read Neil Gaiman’s Ocean at the End of the Lane and Karen Russell’s Vampires in the Lemon Grove but books are expensive and my birthday is months away. Sob.

3. Have you ever killed off a character and regretted it?

4.If you could have any of your characters over for dinner, which would it be and why?
None of them. They’re all hooligans.

5.Which one of your characters would you never invite into your home and why?
See above.

6. Ernest Hemingway said: write drunk, edit sober. For or against?
I prefer to write and edit sober because I treat writing like I would any other job. I wouldn’t encourage anyone to go to work under the influence (especially pilots).

7. If against, are you for any other mind altering drug?

8. Our adult competition theme if Feast, Famine and Potluck. Have you ever put food in your fiction? If so, what part did it play in the story?
Dark Poppy’s Demise opens with the protagonist spilling chocolate Steri-Stumpi all over herself. There are several scenes involving her messing food over people.

9. What’s the most annoying question anyone’s ever asked you in an interview?
What inspires you. I get asked that question at least three times a week.

10. If you could be any author other than yourself, who would you be?
Agatha Christie, just for ten minutes. I’d love to know how she came up with all those twisty murder plots.

11. If you could go back in time and erase one thing you had written from your writing history, what would it be and why?
I wouldn’t erase anything, but I wouldn’t mind tweaking one or two things.

12. What’s the most blatant lie you’ve ever told?
I told a bouncer I was eighteen to get into a nightclub. I made up the most elaborate story about why I didn’t have my ID on me. He almost let me in too.

13. If someone reviews you badly, do you write them into your next book/story and kill them?
Nope. Not all books are for everyone.

14. What’s your favourite bad reviewer revenge fantasy?
I don’t have any. I’m really boring.

15. What’s the most frustrating thing about being a writer in Africa?
Books not selling.

16. Have you ever written naked?
No. I imagine it would get quite chilly after a while.

17. Does writing sex scenes make you blush?
No. I just make excuses not to write them.

18. Who would play you in the film of your life?
A young Michael Palin in a dress.

19. If you won the Caine Prize for African Fiction, what would you do with the money?
Pay off my car, give my parents a chunk and use the rest to go on holiday to Paris.

20. What do you consider your best piece of work to date?
The book I’m writing right now.

21. What are you doing on 21 June 2013, to celebrate Short Story Day Africa?

Writing, as always.


Recent comments:

  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">Cat Hellisen</a>
    Cat Hellisen
    June 14th, 2013 @11:00 #

    "What inspires you?"

    Cue writers writing inside with hatred and despair while forcing an answer through teeth gritted into a smile.

    I love your answers, especially 18.

  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">Cat Hellisen</a>
    Cat Hellisen
    June 14th, 2013 @11:01 #


    Although they may be writing inside, killing off the interviewer...

  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">Sally</a>
    June 14th, 2013 @11:12 #

    He was quite fetching in his Flying Circus days wasn't he?

  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">Cat Hellisen</a>
    Cat Hellisen
    June 14th, 2013 @11:54 #



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