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Joanne Anderton

answers the Usual Questions

photograph, Joanne Anderton, courtesy of the author; 220x272

Joanne Anderton

Jo Anderton says, "I'm a writer of speculative fiction, and this is what I've always been. In my case, that tends to range between fantasy, horror and the just plain weird. I used to tell these stories in my head, but after a little more exposure to the real world I started to realise this could be seen as, well, unusual."

Has your interaction with fans, for example, at conventions, affected your work?

Oh yes I think so. Meeting people / talking to people / hearing from people who have read and enjoyed my work is like a booster shot of enthusiasm. It reminds me why I do this, and keeps me passionate and excited about whatever I'm working on. So while I don't think it changes what I actually write, it absolutely keeps me motivated!

Is there any particular incident (a letter, a meeting, a comment that stands out?

Well, I have a postcard from Dubai on my shelf that makes me pretty happy!

Do you have a favourite author or book (or writer or film or series) that has influenced you or that you return to?

My answer to this question is always all the movies from Studio Ghibli! I'm a big fan of anime and manga, but Ghibli movies have a special place in my heart. Princess Mononoke is probably my favourite -- it's because of the characters. There are no 'evil' characters in that film, everyone has a genuine motivation for what they do. I love those shades of grey. Then there's the post-apocalyptic world and freakishly cool bio-weapons of Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind. How could you not be influenced by that? Even My Neighbour Totoro, which is such a 'small' story compared to those two, but is so beautiful and magical. Totoro is my happy-place. If I'm having a bad day, I go there.

Who is the person you would most like to be trapped in a lift with? or a spaceship?

Oh, spaceship please! Sounds much more interesting than an elevator. And on that note, pretty much anyone who can fly a spaceship. That would totally help.

Who is the person you would most DISlike to be trapped in a lift with? Or a spaceship?

Still on the spaceship here, so it has to be Ash from Alien. Obviously.

What would you pack for space? (Is there a food, beverage, book, teddy bear, etc that you couldn't do without?)

Pocky, and lots of it! I could probably live off pocky. Actually, I pretty much do :-) But not the strawberry flavour. Traditional chocolate thank you very much. I'd definitely need some apple or pear cider to wash that down, all of Robin Hobb's books to read, and lots of very, very warm clothing. I feel the cold, and space is cold!

What is the most important thing you would like to get/achieve from your work?

I was a reader and a fan before I became a writer. You know that feeling when you're reading a book/series, and you love it so much the rest of the world just fades away? When the world in a book becomes more real than the world around you, and the fate of the characters more important than day-to-day life. That feeling when you finish this kind of book, and you close it, and the sun doesn't shone as brightly, because you're mourning the fact that this book is done? That's what I want to achieve with my writing.

What is the special satisfaction of your work?

Being lost in a world in my own head. Living and breathing those characters. When it's working, there's nothing better.

submitted by Joanne Anderton

8 July 2014

For other answers to The Usual Questions Click here

Just the facts:
Born: Sydney, Australia.
Resides: Sydney, Australia. In the house I grew up in, actually. It's a lovely spot. If you saw it you'd understand.
Three novels. The Veiled Worlds Trilogy: Debris, Suited, and Guardian. Debris and Suited were both shortlisted for multiple awards. Guardian has only just been released!
One short story collection: The Bone Chime Song and Other Stories
The Bone Chime Song and Other Stories won the Aurealis Award for Best Collection, and the Australian Shadows Award for Best Collected Work.
Lots of short stories out there in the wild, and lots of those have been shortlisted for awards too.
Winner of the 2012 Ditmar for Best New Talent.

Web site:
Twitter: @joanneanderton


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