I was delighted that one of my short stories was selected for inclusion in More Raw Material, an anthology of work inspired by Alan Sillitoe. It’s a great honour to feature in such a stellar line-up.
After publication, the editors interviewed each of the contributors, so I thought I’d share my answers with you.
Why or how did you start writing?
My sister, Lou, has profound and complex disabilities. Although her vocabulary is fairly limited, she has a playful relationship with language, savouring its musicality. Her quirky turns of phrase ask me to hear the world afresh. And so, I started to write in an attempt to give voice to stories that have been silenced until now.
What’s your favourite work by Alan Sillitoe?
I first came across ‘The Fishing-boat Picture’ in the Penguin Book of Modern Short Stories, and I found its exploration of a quiet life incredibly moving. There’s something very generous-spirited in this story, and expansive too: an entire adult life captured in a few pages – a life of solitude and small pleasures.
Why was it so important to be in More Raw Material?
Since privileged lives get over-represented in British fiction, anthologies like More Raw Material are so important. It’s a great honour to see my story alongside other work, all inspired by Alan Sillitoe’s commitment to voicing marginalised lives.
What do you do when you’re not writing?