Monday, 29 June 2009

The View From the Shoe 1: D J Young

Today sees the first of a new weekly column I’m going to run in honour of all the wonderful creative people out there in cyberspace.
The View From the Shoe is an interview feature designed to get under the skin – and over the socks – of some of the most talented people on the Web and, I have no doubt, in the flesh. I hope it gives an insight not just into the creative mind as a whole, but into the creative juices of these very special individuals. Read all about them, and please, whatever it is they do, go and check it out for yourselves. As the slogan for Free-e-day will encourage you – discover something amazing today.

Just a quick note before we begin. The format for this week is slightly different. The Year Zero column will be on Wednesday. For the very good reason that on Wednesday Year Zero Writers will be launching Brief Objects of Beauty and Despair, the free anthology of some of the very best independent writing in the world. So from now, I will run The View From the Shoe on Mondays, and the Year Zero columns on Wednesday and Friday.

Without further ado, this is the View From the Shoe on DJ Young

DJ is a writer, blogger, essayist, logophile and long-time short story addict at work on first novel. I discovered DJ on twitter:@dijeratic from where I migrated to her fantastic blog:

Thank you so much, DJ, for agreeing to be the first lab rat for the new column.

Thank you so much for your time. So, Louboutin or Converse?
I have only worn Converse, and that was in school, but I must admit to being a bit of a Strange Person who enjoys going around in bare feet. I understand it comes from the hobbit side of the family. I do, however, keep any unsightly bits well groomed.

Why is there no one in the world who does it quite like you?
I doubt there are many for whom the wasting of an entire day re-writing the same sentence over and over holds much interest. Or maybe there are. Somehow, I do not feel alone. In fact, I am certain there are many who do it far, far better than I. Not as slowly, of course, but still.

What do you really, really love about it?
When I write I completely obsess over the inner life of the work itself – the characters, their ideas, their world and there is something so tortuous yet satisfying about it. It is the same with reading someone else’s work, or listening to certain pieces of music – Bach, for example – and there is this mazelike quality to it that I love being lost in.

A bit more time in the day, or a bit more money in the bank?
Oh both please – but time (if such a thing really exists – we know money doesn’t) would be very welcome.

Imagine you “make it”. You wake up, and imagine the day ahead. Tell us about breakfast.
If I even have an appetite for food at that point – I’m sure I’d be enjoying my usual poached eggs and toast – in Australia, perhaps.

What’s your Jimmy Choo? And what’s just cobblers?
I have no Jimmy Choo fantasies – my footwear is hopelessly casual and out-dated. Where I come from though, a cobbler is either a type of pie or someone who fixes your shoes. If we’re speaking of the former, I enjoy a blueberry cobber in the summer, very refreshing - and if I need someone to mend my shoes, well, let’s just say it is very sad.

Tell us about the last time a fan made you feel 100 feet tall.
This isn’t really from a ‘fan’ as such, but I did have someone tell me once that if I ever did become ‘really famous’ she would save all my emails and letters and transcripts of our chats so she could auction them off one day. Now that I think about it, I’m sure I was more scared than anything else.

Independent and poor, or under contract and rich?
Rich is a state of mind and experience and contracts are for Faustian types. That said, being poor has its drawbacks, so if I could possibly remain independent while under contract, I would feel very rich indeed.

Do you remember that bit on Play Away where Brian Cant stood behind people and did the actions whilst they spoke? If you could choose anyone to stand behind you and do the actions to your sales pitch, who would it be and why?
Neil Gaiman would be lovely – but only if he could do the actual speaking since he is impossible not to listen to.

Frocks or socks?
Socks, but only in winter. Can’t stand the chafing.

Once again, thank you

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