Tuesday, October 14, 2014
AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Claire Meadows
1. When/why did you decide to become a writer?
I've had a lifelong love affair with the written, and spoken word. I cut my teeth at the age of 3, teaching myself to read by absorbing the News of the World every Sunday morning. Cover to cover. I absorbed enough of the 'reportage' style of writing that I began crafting fake news stories to amuse myself. I remember at the age of 7 handing one of these into my teacher--some nonsense I'd made up about me marrying Jason Donovan and having a swimming pool and a thousand cats in a mansion. I don't think she quite knew what to make of it. I've always had a very fertile imagination, as you can see.
2. What authors inspired you when you were younger? What books do you enjoy reading today?
I was fond of the racier end of the spectrum. Nabokov, and believe it or not Jackie Collins. At the age of 14, I made my local library order every single one of Jackie's Lucky Santagelo novels that they could get their hands on. The worlds Jackie created were glamorous, full-throttle passionate places--where I wanted to be, and were as far from my own home life as you could imagine.
Now, I read whatever takes my fancy. I have an omnivorous library of 1500 books--everything from quantum physics to Colin Dexter.
3. What was the inspiration behind your latest poetry collection, To The Lions?
Those I have loved, do love, and will love.
4. Will you ever or are you planning on writing fiction?
It's certainly something I want to explore. Dagda have just published one of my short stories, Vacant Spaces, as a kindle download. It's had a great response so far. So lets see.
5. Your poetry in To The Lions was all of a similar style. What styles of poetry do you want to try writing?
I'm happy as I am, I think. There's nothing I hate as much as gimmicky writing, or writing that's contrived in any way to be something it shouldn't be. Stay true to your vision. If you want to experiment, that's great. But if you write falsely, your reader will sniff you out in a moment.
6. Where do you take your general inspiration from (music, lost love, etc.)?
Inspiration hits when I least expect it. I'm sure many writers are the same. All I know is I get an urge, and I write. It can be anything.
7. What is it like working on After Nyne Magazine? How has it shaped your poetry career?
Bringing After Nyne Magazine to life has been, and continues to be, extremely exciting. It hasn't shaped my poetry career, but we seek to promote the work of other authors by publishing creative writing submissions in each issue. There's so much talent out there, and I love sniffing it out.
8. What genres of novels do you prefer?
It can be anything. Seriously. As I've got older, I've become more comfortable with ditching a book if it's not doing it for me. Why struggle?
9. What do you personally see as the future of poetry, because, now, I don't think enough people are enjoying it.
Those who want to be touched by poetry will be. The right teacher can make all the difference. The right teacher can make the sun shine through clouds of incomprehension, and break down barriers. This is why I would never approve of Shakespeare being taken off any curriculum--Shakespeare's Sonnets are sexy as hell. You just need someone who is passionate enough in teaching them to bring that out, and make it relevant to a contemporary audience.
10. Do you prefer to recite your own work or would you like an actor to narrate it? Which actor?
I think it's great for the author to recite their own work, as they are perfectly placed to offer the perfect interpretation. I prefer to do my own readings.
11. Where do you see yourself and your career in the next ten years?
Still doing exactly what I love, which is what I'm doing now. Ten years ago I was a civil servant studying for a degree on the Open University, and starting work on the poems that became my first collection, Gold After. I could hardly have imagined my life as it is now. Dream big. And have courage.
12. What would you be doing if you weren't writing?
I've tried not writing. I've done everything I can to get away from writing. And failed miserably. I'm stuck with it, I'm afraid. For better or worse.
13. Can you tell KSR what you're working on next?
My publisher has asked for my forth poetry book. It's brewing.
14. What authors, dead or alive, would you like to collaborate with?
I'd love to work with Henri Cartier-Bresson, the photographer, on a version of To The Lions. He's a dead one, alas. But I'd love to have seen what photographs he could come up with to illustrate the book. Semi-sexual, gritty and real. I think we'd have worked together well.
15. Thank you for participating in the interview. Can you please leave the readers with three things that may surprise them about you?
I'm a qualified legal secretary.
I'm taking French lessons in my spare time.
I know far more about naval history then you'd think I would. I'm fascinated by shipwrecks.
Find Claire Meadows online via:
After Nyne Magazine