Interview with Glen Donaldson, whose piece of flash fiction, ‘Breaking Hearts Three at a Time,’ can be found in Issue One of Into The Void.
Why do you write and what do you hope to achieve in doing it?
I write for the same reason that I read: as an escape from reality and to enter alternate worlds. The idea of being an ‘escape artist’ has always held appeal.
What are the major themes in your work?
Rampant weirdness and the blending of things that wouldn’t ordinarily be found together are two veins of thought and experience I seem to regularly mine when composing fiction.
Why is literature important?
As has been stated by numerous others before, literature helps us connect with our humanity. By the act of giving expression to often conflicting thoughts, emotions, fears, motives, systems of belief, hopes and dreams, not to mention the ever-present search for love and acceptance, we come a step closer to understanding and defining what it means to be human. Soul food indeed. For a glimpse into the horror of what a world without books might be like, Ray Bradbury’s 1953 seminal science fiction novel ‘Fahrenheit 451’ still makes for interesting reading more than half a century on.
What are some of your favourite authors?
My two favourite contemporary novelists are American author and writing teacher Jincy Willett (Winner of the National Book Award) and American horror master Thomas Ligotti (‘My Work is Not Yet Done’).
What book are you currently reading?
‘I’m Talking’ (published 2014) is the autobiography of Australian singer Kate Ceberano. It is written in a very easy to read style that makes you feel she is in the room talking directly to you.
What’s your favourite piece from Issue One?
I’ve read Assemblage by Wei Xiong three times already and most likely I’ll go back at some stage for a fourth go. It’s that good. Every single sentence is a feast and the expert prose is as rich as brandy and butterscotch trifle. Maybe richer.
What’s on the horizon for you with your writing?
A story I’m composing at present features a character who’s fallen on hard times and resorted to selling-on stolen ink cartridges. Apparently printer consumables are in high demand among the light-fingered as, ounce for ounce, they’re more expensive than some illegal drugs.
Any prized quotes?
‘There is only one plot – things are not what they seem.’ — Jim Thompson (American author & screenwriter 1906-1977).
‘To gain your own voice you have to forget about having it heard.’ — Allen Ginsberg (American poet 1926-1997).