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MIR9 Editors
MIR9 Editors

The MIR9 editors are made up of Birkbeck students on the MA in Creative Writing and the MA in Shakespeare and Contemporary Studies. They are: Sue Betney, Dane Buckley, Sarah Cumming, Natalie Fletcher, Marlowe Harris, Zoë Ranson and Antonia Reed. When they aren't busy with the book, they can be found working on their own novels and short stories or hanging out at the Globe. They are looking forward to the MIR9 Launch Party on 27 September, 2012.


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MIR9: Introducing the Birkbeck writers – Paul Flack, Terence James Eeles and Phoebe Blatton


Paul Flack grew up in Stevenage, Hertfordshire. He has an MA in Creative Writing from University College Chichester, and is currently looking for an agent for a dramatic coming-of-age novel, set on a French Mediterranean island (very unlike Stevenage).

 

Describe yourself in three words

Independent, determined, dreamer

 

If you could have written any book which one would it be?

The Collector by John Fowles. Not only a breakthrough novel, but a brilliant film too.

 

Which three books would you take to a desert island?

  • Complete Works of Shakespeare
  • How To Build A Seaworthy Vessel From Scratch On A Desert Island (or whatever similar comes up on Google)
  • The Magus by John Fowles.

 

What are your top five writing tips?

  1. Conflict! Conflict! Conflict!
  2. A reader’s empathy or interest in a character is more likely to keep them reading than the plot.
  3. Write clearly, concisely and without stylistic pretension.
  4. Read with an objective of understanding how fiction that you like works.
  5. Develop a routine for writing most days of the week. Make use of short periods of time. Even if you just review your work on the train or scribble a few words at lunchtime, you’ll be making progress. 

 

And finally … salmon or green?

Can I see the menu again, please.

 

 

Born in Croydon, South London, Terence James Eeles is an ’80s child, Crystal Palace season-ticket holder, Amiga nostalgist, mp3 hussy, West Country graduate, library connoisseur, slow reader and Wikislut. He works in the West End in retail visual display. Writing subversive, lyrical and motif-driven fiction, in 2011 Terry was commended and shortlisted in the Manchester Fiction and Bridport Short Story prizes. His story “Lemming” (which he is expanding into a black-comedy novel) will be appearing in an upcoming anthology edited by Chuck Palahniuk. “The Trojan Horse Mixtape” is from a collection of linked stories. His parents are awesome.

 

Describe yourself in three words

Resourceful. Passionate. Thinker.

 

If you could have written any book which one would it be?

Choke by Chuck Palahniuk or High Fidelity by Nick Hornby. I know it’s not a book, but the script to Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge is pretty perfect.

 

Which three books would you take to a desert island?

  • The Phineas Poe Trilogy by Will Christopher Baer
  • Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk
  • Complete Works of Shakespeare (for tome-length to pass the time, lyrical iambic pentameter and emergency fire fuel)

 

What are your top five writing tips?

  1. Three “W”s: “What if?” “So What?” “What happens next?” Don’t waste the reader’s time, think outside of the box, show them something new. There are x-amount of more entertaining ways they could be spending their R&R.
  2. Reverse engineer what works in stories you love and try them on for size – take the chassis apart and mechanically see how they work. Poke around, unscrew things. Get your hands dirty. Perseverance trumps talent. You will get better.
  3. Look at other types of stories in comics, computer games, songs, theatre, journalism, movies, people-watching. Take notes whenever something seizes you - on the reverse of till roll, Post-its in the back of novels you commute with, saved text messages, the old biro-on-the-hand failsafe. That counts as writing.
  4. Have a “lesson plan” ahead of your writing session. Put your arse in a chair in a well-lit, neutral space away from distractions. Be well slept/caffeinated. Brainstorm, organise your notes and material, do you research. They’re the three most fun things before you start crying punctuation and chundering adverbs. Daydreaming also counts as writing.
  5. “Make us laugh, teach us something, then break our hearts.” Two out of that three will probably make pretty good story, all three would be pretty perfect.

 

And finally … salmon or green?

Salmon Lime (a lesser-known Dulux chart colour and abandoned Ben & Jerry’s flavour…)

 

 

Phoebe Blatton grew up in South-East London. She studied fine art at Goldsmiths College, and has worked for a number of years in the art book trade. In 2008 she co-founded The Coelacanth Journal, and publishes this alongside a number of related projects, publications and collaborations. She is currently a student at Birkbeck on the MA in Creative Writing.

 

Describe yourself in three words

Phoebe Anna Blatton

 

If you could have written any book which one would it be?

Some early gay pulp fiction with a garish cover, under the pseudonym Bobbi Fordwych, that was later regarded as critically interesting and put on Gender Studies reading lists and eventually reprinted with a tasteful cover and an introduction by an eminent writer of the day.

 

Which three books would you take to a desert island?

Three books I haven't read, recommended by someone for whom I have the utmost respect and trust entirely to know my taste. 

 

What are your top five writing tips?

Try to be roughly 50% happy, 50% depressed, 50% wakeful, 50% sleepy, and don't die. 

 

And finally … salmon or green?

I don't understand the question! 


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