Five Minutes with Shamin Fernando

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

How something seemingly small and mundane can have a significance beyond its everyday purpose. I wanted to think about the idea of impermanence and vicissitude.

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

Fictocriticism, New Journalism, Joan Didion.

Who do you show your writing to first?


Where do you get most of your writing done?

In the sunroom at the front of the house, late late at night.

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

The Norton Anthology of Poetry.

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

The best: “Write to find out what you know.”

I don’t ignore any of it.

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

A seal.

What is the strangest object you own?

A lizard's foot key-ring.

How long did it take you to write your bio?

Thirty minutes.

Top three songs on your writing playlist?

Top three CDs: Baroque Favourites, John Coltrane's Rhapsody, Brian Eno's Music for Airports

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

Guilty pleasure – Who Weekly, Normal Pleasure – Lorrie Moore

What literary tattoo would you get?

A Clockwork Orange

What do you do when you aren't writing? 

Freelance writing for an architecture magazine, telephone interviewing for a market research company, long walks, short naps, cafes, exercise, social media, tv.