We had a short hiatus from Lychees or Peaches while I found my way out of a hole, but now we have Jane Rawson, author of A wrong turn at the Office of Unmade Lists! Here we go, Jane!
Hard questions first: Lychees or Peaches?
Oh peaches, without a doubt. Peaches are glorious, a little ball of heaven; lychees are revolting. In lychees’ favour though, they have very bouncy seeds.
Bouncy seeds?? Jane? Oh never mind…If you were written about in a newspaper, what would the headline say?
Shocked neighbours say: ‘but she seemed so nice!’
What is your favourite line from a book or movie?
I haven’t a firm favourite, but this, from the first page of Moby-Dick, pops into my head a lot. “Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people’s hats off – then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can. This is my substitute for pistol and ball.”
Which genre do you usually write in? And why do you think this is so?
The books I enjoy most are those which are a little bit odd, a little bit magic, where strange things happen but no one thinks much of it, where things are slightly off kilter and reading them makes you see the world differently. So I try to write in that genre, whatever that genre is, because that’s what I enjoy.
Tell me a secret about yourself that nobody in the whole world knows? Go on tell me, nobody but me is listening.
Sometimes I wish there was no such thing as books. My life has revolved around books for so long – what new things would I discover if they suddenly ceased to exist? Maybe I’d be a brilliant rock climber…
What is your latest book about?
A wrong turn at the Office of Unmade Lists is about what happens when you live so much in your memories, they become your real life. It’s also about living in a climate-changed Melbourne, about time travel to imaginary places, about impossible quests in a made-up version of America, about bureaucracy, about jokes and about love.
How did you come up with the title? Did it come to fistycuff’s with your editor?
The Office of Unmade Lists actually plays only a very small part in my novel – Suspended Imaginums and Shadow Storage & Retrieval are far more vital to the plot and characters take more than one wrong turn at them, but they just didn’t sound as nifty in my head. Anyway, it’s a ridiculous title and far too long to be telling people over and over, so I suggested to my publisher we come up with a different title and he said no, because he loved that one. So now I’m stuck with it.
When you daydream about singing on The Voice (I know you do) what song do you sing and if you could have any celebrity judge in the world turn for you who would it be?
I would want to sing George Gershwin’s Summertime, which I would totally butcher, but I’d feel fine about it when Leonard Cohen spun around and told me, ‘never mind: we are ugly, but we have the music’.
Leonard Cohen? Did you got to his last tour? I did, and….(this is not the time for this is it?) What do you really, really, really, love?
Sometimes I go out with a friend or friends and we have a delightful time drinking and talking and laughing and all that. Then I step out onto the dark street and begin my walk home alone and that moment – when no one is watching and I can just be me – is the thing I really, really, really love. That, and Andy, who is my husband.
Can you show us a quick snap of your work desk? No tidy spic and span ones. I won’t believe you.
Yes, my desk is in the bedroom closet. I can hear the neighbour’s terrible music through the wall.
Serious stuff now, Jane: where can we purchase your latest book?
You can get a hard copy here at New South Books or it’s on e-book at Kobo, Amazon and Google Play.
Thanks so much for taking part in Lychees or Peaches, Jane!
For more on Jane you can follow her on Twitter:@frippet
Or check out her blog at: http://janebryonyrawson.wordpress.com