I'm always inspired by writers. And Emily Maguire is one of them. I've read her columns for The Sydney Morning Herald, heard her talk at the Sydney Writers' Festival and recently read her new release novel Smoke In The Room. She is a true talent. It's no wonder her first work of fiction, Taming the Beast, was a finalist for the Dylan Thomas Prize and the Kathleen Mitchell Award.
Which five words best describe you? Excitable, obsessive, conflicted, lucky, happy.
What was your first job and what path have you taken since then? My first full-time job was at McDonald's. I was there two years, then spent another seven years working in retail, waitressing and answering phones before I managed to get my first novel published in 2004. Since then I've combined writing, studying and teaching and found that the three feed into each other nicely.
What’s your proudest achievement? Finishing each of my books has felt good.
What’s been your best decision? To trade financial security for the writing life.
Who inspires you? All kinds of people in all kinds of ways. Writers, artists and activists, but also friends, relatives, people on the bus or in the supermarket line or at the pub.
What are you passionate about? I'm promiscuous with my passion - it depends on what I'm reading, what I'm writing, who I've been talking or listening to, where I've been travelling.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt? Kindness is not a weakness.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Virginia Woolf.
What dream do you still want to fulfil? There are dozens. Top of the list right now: move to Vietnam, visit the Orangutan rehabilitation centre in Borneo, write the next novel and the one after that.
What are you reading? The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
images courtesy of emily maguire