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Fiona Robyn Interview

Posted on 22 January 2009. © Copyright 2004-2024 WriteWords
A longer version of this interview is available to WriteWords Full and Community Members.
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WriteWords talks to novelist Fiona Robyn, whose first 3 books will be out soon with Snowbooks

Tell us something about your background.

I wrote poetry for eight years before writing my first novel as an experiment, and have now completed three novels (which will all be published by Snowbooks). I’m working on my fourth novel. I also love blogging. I write daily ‘small stones’ at http://www.asmallstone.com, and I write about my life as a writer at http://www.plantingwords.com.

Other work besides writing; ie. Editing, dramaturgy, tutoring, and how it works for/against your own writing

I stay away from helping other people with their writing, as I find this subtracts from the energy I have available for my own work, but I know it works in the opposite way for many writers.

How did you start writing?

I wrote a poem thirteen years ago, after reading poetry for many years before that. Why? Something happened, and I think I just thought I’d like to write it down.

Who are your favourite writers and why?

I like writers who get close to ‘real’ life – everyday beauty, bad sex, confused relationships… I think Raymond Carver is a master at this, and also Lorrie Moore, and Anne Lamott. I read a lot of poetry and non-fiction – for the past few years I’ve been reading a lot of books about Zen practice.

How did you get your first agent/ commission?

I was very lucky and found an agent through a friend five years ago for my first novel, but we couldn’t find a publisher for it and so eventually we parted ways. Five years later (five years of unsuccessful looking-for-an-agent), I submitted my work directly to Snowbooks.

What's the worst thing about writing?

I seem to have to overcome huge resistance whilst writing first drafts, and have to force myself to my desk!

And the best?

Where to start? I love the way it helps me to pay attention to the world and to myself. I love the look of words on the page, and the sound of them. I love getting to know my characters, and helping them tell their story. I love the satisfaction of writing a good sentence. The feedback I get from happy readers is, as Raymond Carver might say, pure gravy.

Tell us what kind of responses you get from audiences\ readers.

Some people like my writing, and some people don’t – but I imagine the first group are more likely to email me and tell me! I always feel honoured to hear from readers. I’m not affected by their responses, as that’s not how I write – if a particular novel was more successful, I wouldn’t have a clue how to ‘replicate’ it. Of course I do work hard on polishing my writing.

A longer version of this interview is available to WriteWords Full and Community Members.
Click here to learn more about becoming a member.

Comments by other Members

Nik Perring at 13:46 on 22 January 2009  Report this post
Fab to see you over here, Fiona. Top interview. Best of luck with the three releases. And see you on my blog at the end of March...


titania177 at 14:29 on 22 January 2009  Report this post
Hello Fiona, fancy seeing you here? You are right about being published not being the most important thing, as long as you manage to enjoy it. I am very impressed that you meditate and then go straight to your desk. Ah, if only I could do that! See you on my blog at the end of March too...


Account Closed at 14:36 on 22 January 2009  Report this post
Great interview. And inspiring. I'm coming up to 4 years writing novels unagented, so i can relate.


rogernmorris at 20:55 on 22 January 2009  Report this post
Nice to see you here, Fiona. Good luck with the books. Three in one year! That's a real achievement.

caro55 at 12:02 on 23 January 2009  Report this post
Lovely interview, Fiona, and congrats on the three books!

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