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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 – Erinn Kindig, Thaddeus Hickman and Rachael Withers


Erinn Kindig lives in London and Brooklyn. She holds a BA in English from Mount Holyoke College and is currently completing her MA in Creative Writing at Birkbeck. “Broke” is her first published piece of fiction.


Describe yourself in three words

Those change daily.

 

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

Very tough.  Again, those change pretty much daily but at this moment in time, I would say either:

A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole

Or

Joe – Larry Brown

 

Which three books would you take to a desert island?

  • Winter’s Tale – Mark Helprin
  • The Brothers K – David James Duncan
  • Sometimes a Great Notion – Ken Kesey

 

What are your top five writing tips?

  1. Find a place that inspires you to write (for me, as I’m travelling quite bit between London and New York, it’s the lobby of The Bowery Hotel and my kitchen table)
  2. Make a schedule and stick to it
  3. Read! Read novels that you can learn technique from
  4. Be equal parts patient and critical
  5. Writing is like solving a puzzle, when it stops making sense, put it away for the day or you’ll likely do more harm than good

 

And finally … salmon or green?

If we’re talking food, BOTH and together if possible!  If we’re talking color, then definitely green.

 

 

Thaddeus Hickman lives and writes in London. His short fiction has appeared in Issue 8 of The Mechanics’ Institute Review and in the anthology A Thousand Natural Shocks (Troubador Publishing, 2011). While finishing his second year of the MA in Creative Writing at Birkbeck, he’s working on a short-story collection and an emerging novel.

 

Describe yourself in three words

Befleshed

Betwixt

Mid-juggle

 

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

Hunger by Knut Hamsun

 

Which three books would you take to a desert island?

Not Robinsoe Crusoe – that would be weird and annoying.

Not Moby Dick – that would make me scared of going into the sea (unhelpful on a desert island).

So...

  • In Search of Lost Time (Proust) – it’s big and I’ll have lots of time.
  • Infinite Jest (Foster Wallace) – it’s big and suggests a dark take on my predicament.
  • Build Your Own Boat for Dummies (Ivor Plan)...

 

What are your top five writing tips?

  1. Read a lot (besides needing to be a good reader, it’s one of the best ways of learning to write).
  2. Write a lot (besides it being bloody difficult, it is the best way to learn to write).
  3. Buy a gun and ask someone to shoot you in the head if you don’t hit your next deadline (it’s the only way I can ever get anything out of the ether and onto the page)
  4. As you won’t be able to stop your procrastination techniques blooming, try to be realistic and keep them in check (a particular weakness of mine is re-organising my sock drawer – especially when a deadline looms).
  5. Put your characters through buttock-clenching hell, so under pressure we, alongside them, can experience new depths to their character (besides making it a thumping good read).

 

And finally … salmon or green?

If I were choosing colours for a new pair of socks and there was only salmon and green available, I’d choose one of both and proudly wear my trousers slightly too short. 

 

 

Rachael Withers lived in Japan for six years and has written articles on travel and the expatriate experience for various magazines and books. In 2011 her story “The Klinefelter’s Adventures: Chromosome of Havoc” was shortlisted for the Bristol Short Story Prize. She is currently working on her first novel.

 

Describe yourself in three words

Short, blonde and odd.

 

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

The Blind Assassin

Which three books would you take to a desert island?

Persuasion, The Great Gatsby and The King James Bible - I'd have to be on a desert island to get through it all.

 

What are your top five writing tips?

If I had five writing tips I'd probably have written a lot more than I have already done. One writer, I forget who, said that compassion was important in writing and I believe that. Don't write to make yourself feel superior or to denegrate others. You should have compassion for your characters, even the ones that are up to no good. 

 

And finally … salmon or green?

Salmon. 


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