Five Minutes with James Worner

worner_j 1. Where do you get most of your writing done?


Desk at home. Currently positioned to look at a wall rather than out a window. You know what I’m talking about.

2. Internet on or off while you’re writing?


I thought I knew fairly well the historical period in which I’m writing but have discovered how easy it is for the construction of every sentence to turn into a research rollercoaster. When I found myself trawling Google Images for ‘window+dressing || curtain 1914’, I knew it was time to pull the cable.

3. Which book do you wish you’d written?

Just my own. Can’t wait to get to the point where I’m able to say ‘I wrote that!’ What a brilliant thought. Hopefully not too far away. Watch this space.

4. Which book are you constantly lending your friends? 

Tragically, more a borrower than a lender. Am easily persuaded by the reading discoveries of friends, family, fellow students, work colleagues, etc. So many great things to read.

5. Best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received?

The day I had the ‘write what you know’ aphorism debunked was a good day. As a creative writer, I love the idea of writing my way into something I have absolutely no idea about. Total invention. Total imagination. Writing is the only way I have to be a person or live a life I ‘don’t know’.

6. If you could only read and re-read one book for the rest of your life, which one would it be?

My Norton’s Anthology has kept me busy for most of my life thus far and will, no doubt, continue to do so for the rest of my days. Can I have both volumes?

7. What are you working on at the moment?

As noted above, am having a stab at some historical fiction, set on the NSW mid-north coast during World War I. Beautiful location. Great point of entry to some fascinating stories.

And if you dare, we'd love to see the space in which you create...

j worner desk

j worner inspiration