You’re a self-published writer. Why should I read your books?
I’m self-published by choice. I want to maintain control over my own work. I do not wish to censor or dilute it for publishers who are influenced by what fits in with current political and market trends.
Don’t publishers ensure a quality control not found in self-published works? This is what makes me sceptical. What if your books are plagued with errors, like so much self-published work is?
Many self-published writers jump the gun by going to print too early. I made this mistake with my first book, Tenure as a Statistician. I employed a professional editor for my second and third books Spitfires and Spots and The Cursed Bus. I have a strong relationship with my editor, who is currently working with me on a collection of short stories due for release in September.
For a debut, why did you title your book Tenure as a Statistician? It seems a bit far-fetched and awkward.
It’s a far-fetched and awkward story. Tenure as a Statistician is a metaphor of our times. People scour the internet for statistics that confirm their preconceptions. I think we’re all guilty of this on occasion.
You are born in New Zealand, yet have spent roughly half your life living abroad, specifically in Norway for the last four years. Do you strongly identify as a New Zealander when it comes to your writing?
As I was born and raised in New Zealand, I am a New Zealander. But with such a small population and young history, I don’t give much attention to national identity. Although I have written extensively about New Zealand, I favour exploring ideas and landscapes outside my country of birth. I much prefer being a small fish in a big pond.
So, are you trending towards a Norwegian influence?
Norway is where I live, and what happens around me influences my work. There are no-noise zones on trains and silence is respected. Even before the outbreak of COVID-19, I had lived a socially isolated life here. This allowed an open window for imagination, thought and concentration. Isolation certainly has its up sides for a writer.
You’re not on social media. Isn’t this a massive disadvantage when trying to find a target audience?
Maybe it is. However, I’m not seeking out a target audience. If my work resonates with people, readers will find me. Hopefully it’s a matter of when, rather than if. We’ll see.