Fives Minutes with James Worner

worner_j Did you have something specific you wanted to communicate with this piece?

Hmm, not sure the final story communicates what I started writing about. But that’s not a bad thing. I like where it ended up.

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

Major influences are the gang in the writing groups. (Hello Monet/EWG. You guys are great.) It surprises me how much we learn from one another, for example how to write dialogue, writing ‘colour/texture’, how to rein in a piece that’s a bit out of control. I am very influenced by them.

Who do you show your writing to first?

Partner. Then the writing groups. (See above.) Smart and generous readers all.

Where do you get most of your writing done?

Recently cleaned up desk at home. Amazing what a difference a spritz can make.

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

Always a shifting pile with Ceridwen Dovey’s Only the Animals currently on top.

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

I’ve never really got the ‘write what you know’ aphorism. One of the things I love most about creative writing is an imagining of what I don’t know.

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

As above, am reading Only the Animals. None of them.

What is the strangest object you own?

Have a couple of ancient clay pipes picked from the rubble of an Irish pub renovation.

How long did it take you to write your bio?

Not as long as the last time.

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

Saturday’s Spectrum. I’m a puzzler.

What book do you pretend to have read to sound smart?

Nah, gave up on trying to sound smart years ago. Plus I think it’s over rated.

What literary tattoo would you get?

Am a bit concerned it would be a sentence that doesn’t end. Could get messy.

What do you do when you aren't writing?

Am turning into an increasingly cranky bureaucrat in the education sector. Love what I do but it’s becoming more difficult. Support public education!