Portrait of this artist looking very sleep deprived and in need of make-up, photoshop, or editing out altogether, and staring oddly just a little bit too close to the camera. I have such lovely eyebrows - what a shame they're hiding.
Regular followers may remember I offered a little challenge for one of you to come up with a question for Nuala, in exchange for a little blog showcasing. And the lucky winner was (is), Lori Tiron-Pandit. Lori is here now - lovely hand shaking ladies - to ask Nuala her question first. So let's begin.
Lori: "You write both poetry and fiction with success. What is the process of choosing to manifest a thought as either a poem or a short story?"
Rachel: There is the feeling, as the reader of Nude, of not being a reader at all, in the sense that we are not spectators but are brought to take part in the events; almost as if we can intervene at any moment, or that a character may pose a question to us; and I notice that you have used (with success, more so in ‘Unmothered’, I think) that uncommonest of narrative forms, second person narration, and I wondered if this, and your employment of first person narration, was a deliberate means to make the reader feel that the stories are not escapes at all, but to make the reader feel the same need to escape as the characters?
Nuala: I think so much of peoples’ lives are about secrets – most people won’t share the detritus of their minds with others for fear of being exposed. One of the great things about fiction is, as you so wonderfully put it, the undressing of those secrets and the sneak-peak into privacy and personal truths. We all have an image of ourselves and other people’s image of us is often quite different and in stories, as a writer, you get to expose and explore people’s foibles and weirdnesses. I love that. I also love fiction that rings true and I hope that no matter how weird the situation I present in a story, that there is a dose of reality and truth in it.
Thank you, Nuala, for such detailed and insightful answers, and for choosing to stop off here in New Zealand first. No peeking, I've got a few finishing touches to make first.
Sorry, did you think I was painting Nuala......? Oh, I meant her book of short fiction, Nude! Her Nude! Words, eh? Slippery as paint.