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View and Hiss Interview

Posted on 03 February 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 The View From Here, a print and on-line literary magazine with author interviews, book reviews, news & events, original fiction, cartoons, articles and behind the scenes features- they have just merged with the award winning the Hiss Quarterly.

Tell us all about the mag- ethos, etc

The magazine reflects the various talents of the team that makes it up. I was keen not to impose my pre-conceived ideas of what it could be, so I invited writers and artists that I really respected to form the core team for the magazine. It was risky but the result, where it has grown organically and people are allowed to contribute according to their passion and expertise, has really worked. I love what it has become, which is inspiring, fun, quirky and people focused, together with real depth to help connect and showcase writers. I particularly like the international make up we have with the team comprising of people from Australia, like author Paul Burman, Germany, Belgium, America and the UK. Random things like making the finalist for best UK blog is also fun, especially as we are international and although we use a blog platform as the web design we're not really a blog!

Our main ethos for how the magazine works, is that we provide a platform for aspiring or recently published authors, that puts their work - be it a review of their published book,an interview, an article by them or their short fiction, alongside bigger more established names like Julian Barnes, James Meek and Paul Torday who we've interviewed. So in a sense new writers get to share the same space as some of the great writers out there today.

We publish all our material on-line, in a weekly e-mailed newsletter and in our monthly printed version of the magazine with Magcloud, Hewlett Packard's POD magazine company. We decided early on not to restrict our material in any of these mediums, so readers can choose which they prefer.

We've established relationships with independent publishers like Legend Press, Canongate and Alma Books to help raise the profile of the new talent that they bring and hope also to discover some new talent of our own from the submissions we receive. Often magazines like ours are the best way to show new talent as we are not so commercially dependant on sales and so are not risk adverse or driven by market forces.

Can you tell us about the merger with the Hiss Quarterly?

The Hiss Quarterly is an award winning American zine, so that opens us out more to the American market and brings us the expertise of Managing Editor, Sydney Nash. I knew that I wanted the magazine to move into accepting submissions but also realised that I knew nothing about that side of things. I wanted it to be handled by someone with experience, someone that knew what they were doing with a track record.
The response from The Hiss readers has been very enthusiastic and we already have some exciting fiction lined up for our March and April editions.

Tell us all about your own writing background- what you've written, what you're currently writing

I've spent the last 5 years writing and editing my first literary novel The Ascent of Isaac Steward. It's been a real labour of love and a fast learning curve for me, as together with the help of Cornerstones and in its early stages Writewords, I've hammered it into shape. I've just finished a final edit after putting it away for over a year and I'm waiting to hear back from an agent in America that itís just gone out to.
The whole process of writing it and sending an earlier version of it out to agents and publishers has helped give me an insight into the industry from a writers perspective and I bring that experience into how I approach the magazine. Hopefully that helps form a connection between the magazine and writers, in that I and most of the team are writers ourselves.

What excites you about a piece of writing-

I love a book that connects with me emotionally and lyrically. The kind of book that both manages to have a good story and is filled with things that makes me stop for a moment at the wonder of it.

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

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