Five Minutes with Emma Froggatt

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset Did you have something specific you wanted to communicate with this piece?

Yes. I wanted to create awareness about bone marrow transplants and how it is a simple process to sign up, and that it can save a life. (Visit www.abmdr.org.au to sign up).

More than communicating anything specific, I wanted to tell a true story that was real and gritty, and somehow find the points where hope collided with that story.

Is there a style/genre/or writer who has significantly influenced your work?

Yes. My work is inspired specifically by literary journalism (Joan Didion, A Year of Magical Thinking) and a wider array of memoirists, creative non-fiction writers and feature writers.

Some of them include Maggie Mackellar (When it Rains), Helen Garner (The Spare Room) and Dave Eggers (A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius), and so many many more.

I love this type of writing because it engages with reality and communicates it in ways we don't necessarily see at first glance. We can wrestle with real issues in a literary way.

Who do you show your writing to first?

For my spontaneous prose, my friends Rachel and Laura (and whoever else follows me on tumblr). For this piece, first my Mum, who has a spectacular way with words and walked with my sister through every step of her leukemia. And second, a new friend Freya Latona who my lecturer put in contact with. I talked with her over Skype and we bonded over our stories. Thank you Freya for being my second reader. We are now friends on Instagram.

Where do you get most of your writing done?

For this piece, at my desk in North Sydney late at night. Now, in bed late, on my phone, late at night. Also anywhere. I have a lot of writing in the notes section of my phone.

What book is closest to you right now – don't lie!

Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott

What the best advice you have ever gotten about writing? And what's the best advice that you still ignore?

"Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way." - E.L. Doctorow, Writers At Work: The Paris Review Interviews, Second Series

If you could be an animal, what would you be?

A puppy dog? A tiger? Who would I be in life of pi?

What is the strangest object you own? Is it covered with fur?

I had a little toy character that I named Lucy and put on the left side of my car to help my know left from right. We called her Lefty Lucy.

How long did it take you to write your bio?

About three. I sent the options to my friend Imogen and my brother in law Grant. This was option 1. (I think we went with option 3). But perhaps option 1 was better.

Emma Froggatt is a full time lover, part time hacktivist and believes nike is taking over the world. After leaving UTS' writing program in 2009 amid a quarter life crisis, she's thrilled to have returned, completed an MA in journalism and have her work published in the writers anthology. 

Top three songs on your writing playlist?

Wow, who has a writing playlist! I had a playlist named "spring '09" which I listened to sometimes when writing this piece. On that playlist is Re: 'Stacks' (Bon Iver), and 'Milk and Honey' (As Tall As Lions).

What do you read as a guilty pleasure? What about just for normal pleasure?

I don't really have guilty pleasure reads, if I don't want to read, I don't read. I pretend to have read the classics though, or at least infer I know what they're all about, when I would have only read about them.

Same with current releases, I'll just read the reviews, or get my mum to tell me about the books she's read. (She's a big reader).

What literary tattoo would you get?

None, bad idea. I don't want a tat and if I did, I feel a lit tat would be a bit naff. (Sorry to writers who have them).

What do you do when you aren't writing? (We'd like to show the diversity of careers and life experiences that writers lead outside of their writing).

I'm currently working at Australian War Stories, a publishing project under AAP. The project focuses on writing books about soldiers' experiences in WWI and WWII from their old service records, unit diaries, newspapers, and so on.