Bram Stoker Award Nominee , twice-World Fantasy Award Nominee and Shirley Jackson Award winner Kaaron Warren has lived in Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra and Fiji. She’s sold more than 200 short stories, three novels (the multi-award-winning Slights, Walking the Tree and Mistification) and six short story collections including the multi-award-winning Through Splintered Walls. Her latest novel is The Grief Hole (IFWG Publishing Australia, out now) and her latest short story collection is Cemetery Dance Select: Kaaron Warren. You can find her website here and she Tweets there.
1. Tell us three things about yourself.
a. I travelled to India when I was 16 with my family and a religious group. I could have been married if I’d written my name down on a bit of paper and put it in the hat along with all the other single women.
b. I lived in Fiji for three years where I spent my days wandering the streets of Suva and my nights hobnobbing with the A list. I found the remnants of an old cinema; the hardware store below it was using 1950s movie posters to wrap the goods.
c. I scored a research fellowship with our Museum of Australian Democracy, which is in Old Parliament House. It’s old, for Canberra. There were lots of empty rooms and I was allowed to explore all of them, looking for ghosts, graffiti and hints of what used to be.
“White Bed”, in a feminist horror anthology called Shrieks. It had a shrieking woman on the cover. I still remember getting the phone call from the editors, telling me they were taking my story. The story I loved most in the book was “If I Dream I Have You” by Karen Attard.
3. Which piece of writing are you proudest of?
Maybe the very first short story I wrote, at 14. Called “The Animode’s Revolt”, I’ve never sent it anywhere because it’s melodramatic and not as brilliant as I thought it was, but it’s pretty damn good and it was the first time I really thought I could write.
4. …and which makes you cringe?
There’s a line in an unpublished story that goes, “…and his son, Blind Peter”. I am so very grateful I never sent that story out, because the rest of it is just as bad.
5. What’s a normal writing day like?
I move around a lot, chasing the sun, mostly. I’ll start in my office (a recent, much-loved addition) then shift outside for a while. I’ll go for a walk if I’m stuck on a story point, or I’ll surround myself with books and flick through them, looking for inspiration.
Sometimes I have to think with my eyes shut and that works very well.
6. Which piece of writing should someone who’s never read you before pick up first?
My latest short story collection is Cemetery Dance Selects: Kaaron Warren. The series editors ask you to pick stories that represent your career, so I think that would be a good place to start!
7. What are you working on now?
Finalising edits and illustrations for my new novel, The Grief Hole, out now from IFWG Publishing Australia.
Working on the novel inspired by my time the old museum.
Finishing a story inspired by this photo.