25 October 2012 - Stuart Barnes - Guest Author


Copyright - Clancy Tucker (c)


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Quote of the day:

"Reality for some people, is broader than it is for


others, because they have looked more,


 lived more, read more, experienced more, and thought more."


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STUART BARNES




- GUEST AUTHOR


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G'day guys,


Today I introduce an emerging Australian writer - Stuart Barnes. Welcome, Stuart. Tell us what makes you tick as a writer.


TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF AND YOUR WRITING JOURNEY.

Till the age of eighteen I lived in Hobart, Tasmania.  There I attended an Anglican church with the poet/librettist Gwen Harwood, one  of the first adults to spur my childhood dream of becoming a writer. Another  was Liz  McQuilkin, my  high school English teacher, also a terrific poet. After finishing high school  in 1995 I moved to Melbourne, Victoria. Here I graduated from Monash University  with a Bachelor of Arts in Literature & Philosophy and, for a number of  years, worked in kitchens & call centres. I started writing seriously about
seven years ago.


WERE YOU A GOOD READER AS A KID?

 I was a very good  reader. A voracious reader. I often carried a book.


 WHEN AND HOW DID YOU BECOME A WRITER?


I've always been a writer. But for many years &  for a couple of reasons – e.g. self-doubt, others'  criticisms – I didn't write. How did I become a writer? I  overcame my self-doubt, others' criticisms.


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WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT BEING A  WRITER?

The psychotherapeutic benefits.


WHAT IS THE HARDEST THING ABOUT BEING A  WRITER?

Being interrupted.


WHAT WERE YOU IN A PAST LIFE, BEFORE YOU  BECAME A WRITER?

A Zulu warrior. A Pharaoh. A Greek god.


WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST WRITING ACHIEVEMENT?

Being shortlisted for the 2010 Newcastle Poetry Prize. The  poem – 'Caravaggio: A Secret
History in Sonnets' – addressed my rape, which  occurred not long after I'd moved to Melbourne, as well as a friendship with  an emotionally abusive girl who'd also been raped. The shortlisting, the  subsequent anthologising of this poem enabled me to move on from my rape.


WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON AT THE MOMENT?

Three manuscripts: a full-length book of poetry; a memoir  addressing my rape, notions of addiction, & the perils of psychiatry; a  crime novel.


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WHAT INSPIRES YOU?


In no particular  order: history, poetry, literature, mythology, music, film, photography,
botany, zoology, anatomy, psychology, psychiatry, sex etc.


WHAT GENRE DO YOU WRITE?

I write about the  things that inspire me.

DO  YOU HAVE ANY TIPS FOR NEW WRITERS?

Write  what you want to write. Don't be deterred by  self-doubt, by criticism, by rejection.


DO YOU SUFFER FROM WRITER’S BLOCK?

Occasionally. Walking, swimming & meditating all unwind  the mind.


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DO YOU HAVE A PREFERRED WRITING SCHEDULE?

0800–1200,  1400–1600, 1700–2100.


DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE WRITING PLACE?

My desk. But I'm happy writing elsewhere: in bed, on the  couch, by the Yarra, by the sea, in a park, on public transport etc.


WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST JOY IN WRITING?

That early morning fully formed sentence.


WHO IS YOUR FAVOURITE AUTHOR AND WHY?

For her acrobatic control of language, her ability to  compel numerous readers to return to her novels (in particular, The Secret  History), & her utter disinterest in the "industry", Donna  Tartt. Similarly, Paul Murray, her male counterpart.


WHAT’S THE GREATEST COMPLIMENT YOU EVER
RECEIVED FROM A READER?

'Really good! Send to TLS or Rialto. Mention  my name' (in an  email from a major UK poet who'd read three of my  poems).


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WHAT WAS THE WORST COMMENT FROM A READER?

'In what sense is  this poetry? The essence of the genre is rhythm;the [sic] use of syllables to
create regular and/or irregular metre to fit the subject of the poem. I have
stood on my head to establish some kind of rhythmic pattern here. I'm damned if
I can see any. What I do see is the indisciplined use of language with little  logic in the punctuation or vese [sic] stucture [sic]. Is this a  question of "the king's new clothes" or is what I learn't [sic] at  school and uni no longer applicable?'


WRITERS ARE SOMETIMES INFLUENCED BY THINGS
THAT HAPPEN IN THEIR OWN LIVES. ARE YOU?

Yes. Many of my experiences – as well as of those of friends, family etc. – go into my writing.


HAVE YOU WON ANY PRIZES OR AWARDS?

CQUniversity's Bauhinia Literary Award for Poetry, 2009.


 WHAT DID THEY MEAN TO YOU?

At the time I was very much a new/emerging writer (in some  ways I still am). Winning the Bauhinia Literary Award – & in the same year  being shortlisted for The Newcastle Poetry Prize – increased my confidence, raised my profile, made me feel as though I was  on the right path, so to speak. The  prize money, which enabled me to buy more books, was the icing on the cake.


OTHER THAN WRITING, WHAT ELSE DO YOU LOVE?

Editing, reading, ageing, family & friends.


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DESCRIBE YOUR PERFECT DAY.

 Waking before dawn, eating breakfast & reading for an  hour in bed, writing till lunch with friends, more writing, a late afternoon  nap, more writing, dinner at home, more writing, an episode of The Golden  Girls before bed.


WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE FUTURE?

Presently I'm moving to the sea, where I'll continue to  write, & study screenwriting online.


Stuart's contact details:


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 Twitter: @StuartABarnes


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Email: stuart.a.barnes@gmail.com

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Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/stuart.barnes.108

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PASH capsule (as Editor): http://www.facebook.com/pashcapsule

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LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/stuart-barnes/44/9b9/a4b


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Clancy's comment: Thanks, Stuart. I envy your move to the sea. Dip your toes in the water for me. - CT


Keep writing!


I'm ...



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