As part of #ComedyBookWeek, I’ve lined up some of the freshest, funniest writers around, and subjected them each to the Dirty Dozen treatment.
Today, it’s the turn of Freya of freyawrites.com to take the hotseat!
1 – Welcome, Freya. In all the gin joints in all the world, how did you happen across this blog?
I came across your blog courtesy of the wonderful WordPress Reader function – someone I follow had liked and commented on something you had written, so I investigated and here I am!
2 – You, in three words?
(Sort of three words, I hope you’ll let me get away with that one!).
3 – The last book/ film/ or album that made you cry?
Hmmm. Much as I am an emotional creature, I don’t tend to cry at films, books or music. It’s more that they get me ‘just there’, right in the heart, take my breath away and give me gooseflesh. So, there have been two films that have done that to me recently – I watched them one weekend after the other: ‘Room’ and ‘Gran Torino’.
4 – Where are you now on your writer’s / blogger’s journey ?
I’ve had my current blog (www.freyawrites.com) for about 3 and a half years now, although I did write under a different persona prior to that, where my blog was dedicated to my Jewish journey. I was pretty naïve at the outset and had no idea of the breadth of writing communities out there, didn’t really know anything about the plethora of prompts you could take part in, it was just my way of getting my writing onto the interwebs!
I’ve really developed my love of writing poetry as a result and made some lovely online friends through my blog. I’ve contributed to a collaborative novel (Jessica) thanks to Helena Hann-Basquiat and am hopefully going to be part of another one soon.
It’s no secret that my writing has been a huge catharsis for me, helping me through my dad’s death in 2013, and other life events that have come my way since. It might not always be obvious that I’m exorcising demons (although I do love to write on the dark and sinister side!), because the act of creating fiction or poetry is catharsis enough, a lot of the time. It takes me away from the world and into the other-world space that I love.
5 – One piece of writing advice that you are sick of hearing, or that really doesn’t do it for you
‘Write what you know’. Really? I’ve never been a soldier fighting at the Somme, but I wrote a poem about it. I’ve never lived in a dieselpunk or steampunk world, but I’ve written about both. I’ve never lived in a dystopian future, but I’m writing about it. If I wrote about what I knew, and only that, I’d be writing about an office job, sitting at the dining table writing poetry and prose and also creating art (my other creative passion), cooking and shopping. And falling asleep in the middle of a really gripping film. Which I do frequently.
6 – Two true facts about you, and one lie….
I can eat a whole tube of Pringles on my own.
I am 19 years older than my brother.
I’ve never been able to do a cartwheel.
7 – The zombies rise and take over the world. You have five minutes to pack a bag and hit the road… You’ve got the essentials – water, tent, sleeping bag, vitamins, toothpaste, copy of Al’s zombie haiku book (coming soon to all good Amazon websites)… What else do you grab?
Pens (biros and my beloved fountain pens), ink, water soluble coloured drawing pencils, watercolour paper, writing paper, a photo of my loved ones (if they couldn’t be with me) and Nicholas, my sock monkey. I’m assuming all electronic items would be worse than useless, so no point in grabbing them.
8 – Who would play you in the movie of your life? Would it be a tragedy or comedy?
Helena Bonham-Carter – she’s more upper class than I am, but she could certainly play down the ranks a bit – I think she’s a brilliant actor. I’d want Martin McDonagh to write and direct it (he of ‘In Bruges’ fame) and Radiohead would provide the soundtrack. It would be gritty, neither tragic nor comic per se, but with flashes of both, hopefully. As for romance – goodness me, there’s too much choice out there!
9 – Doc Emmett Brown pulls up outside your house in the DeLorean from Back to the Future… He’s got a few hours to spare, and fuel for one return trip… Where and when in time are you heading?
Berlin, just before the Nazis took control of Germany. I want to see it in its heyday, just before ‘Cabaret’ was set.
10 – Your beloved partner is out for the evening, and your celebrity “pass” is popping round for tea. (You know, the one celebrity who your partner would allow you to spend a night with, without it being considered cheating… that’s a thing, right?) Who knocks on your door?
Gillian Anderson. Oh yes. I think she’d appreciate a hearty, spicy, aromatic home-made beef curry with Sukah Aloo, raita, rice, chapatis and samosas with a real kick (hence the raita!). I’d pop some mango chutney on the side too, to sweeten it all up. We’d have some cool jazz in the background, just loud enough to relax to, but not drown out our conversation. Hmmm… the end of dinner? You mean she has to go? Nooooo! Oh, OK then, how about ‘Do I have to go?’
11 – The producers of the Marvel Avengers films are worried they don’t have quite enough superheroes already crammed into the series… They call you up to play an original character. What would your character’s name be? What’s your superpower (yes, you can only have one) ?
You know how we often misunderstand what people are saying to us, because we hear their words through our own lens, our own perspective? I would love to be able to act as a translator, so that what someone is trying to say, and what the recipient hears and understand doesn’t get lost in the noise. I don’t need a fancy name – The Transliterator would work for me.
12 – You are hosting a small dinner party for the deceased… You can invite three dead people to your shindig, but you only have enough spectral energy for one mega-star “A-lister”, and any two others. Who do you summon, and why?
Another ‘hmmm’ type answer. I don’t ‘do’ mega-star A-lister types. So, I’ll just be true to myself. You’ll notice the writerly theme…
Wilfred Owen – I fell in love with his poetry thanks to a wonderful English teacher I had when I was thirteen.
Elie Wiesel – I have read and re-read his books so many times and they had a huge effect on me. I admire what I know of him through his work so much.
Mary Shelley – because I adored (and still adore) ‘Frankenstein’, and she was so young when she wrote it. I said above, I don’t tend to cry over books, films, music. Frankenstein almost got me to that place.
13 – Any regrets?
Of course. More than a few. But they make me who I am, and that’s not such a bad thing.
A huge thank you to Freya for joining us – another great interview! I’m not sure how my answer for the celebrity pass slipped in there on question 10… and I really need one of those Transliterator people!