The ebook launch of The Never Never Land, CSFG’s speculative anthology of
Australian myths, yarns and campfire stories, is coming on 1 July 2016.
We interviewed some of the authors to hear what inspired
their unique version of the sunburnt country.
‘The Nexus Tree’ by Kim Gaal is a laugh-out-loud yarn about chainsaw-based landscaping and some unexpected squatters.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
Questions like this always make me wish I had an interesting backstory (or at least a cool scar that hinted at a daring escapade) but truthfully I’m very ordinary. I live in Canberra, I work in graphic design and event management, and I just had a baby who I think is the greatest human on Earth but who is probably less exciting to everyone else.
What was the inspiration behind your The Never Never Land story?
My writing group held a session on the use of indigenous culture and material in fiction. Before that I’d had a vague notion that I might like to write a story using a creature from Aboriginal mythology, but after hearing from the speakers I realised that using something from that culture for no other reason than because I’d ‘had a vague notion’ was actually really insensitive. So instead, I came up my own, non-specific Aussie whatzit, which turned out to be Mr Muggund. I enjoyed meeting him, and thought he would be fun to write a story about.
Was there anything you found hard about writing this story?
Not really. It was a fun, casual story about a few ridiculous and adorable characters. I enjoyed writing it a lot.
Why did you decide to submit to the TNNL anthology?
I’m a member of the CSFG and wanted to be part of one of their anthologies. I’m proud that the group of puts out such strong, professional SFF publications, and glad I finally got to add my name to their impressive list of contributing authors.
What was your favourite other story in TNNL?
There are a lot of good stories in The Never Never Land, but I got was part of the critiquing process for both ‘The Swagman’ and ‘To Look Upon a Dream Tiger’, which means I got to read them in their ‘before’ and ‘after’ states and see how the authors absorbed critiques and used them to improve their work. I learn so much about writing from critical reading so these stories had an extra layer of enjoyment for me.
What are you working on now?
A multi-perspective YA novel set on an alternate Earth in which monsters are swarming up out of the ocean and killing everyone who lives within two-days of the coast. I got the idea during a seminar I attended about rising sea levels and how people should be way more concerned about them than they are because so much of the world’s population lives right next to a major body of water. Your house being in the ocean is going to cause you some problems, even if you don’t care the tiniest bit about the environment.
(And I’m not judging you if you don’t.)
(Except that’s a lie, I am, but only on the inside.)
(And maybe a little on the outside.)
Climate change, and the serious issues it’s going to cause, is something we all have a habit of burying our collective heads about, and I think part of that is that we’re just so good at ignoring problems until they are right in our face, chewing off our noses. I want to write about the problem as if it were something impossible to ignore – something immediately nose-chew capable.
Where do you want to take your writing? What are your writing goals?
I want what most writers want, I guess. That is: *inserts pinky tip into mouth* one MILLION dollars!
Nah, I just want to write stories readers love, and hopefully encourage them to think more deeply and more openly about the world. I believe that everything you put out contributes to this massive, global conversation we’re all having, and I hope I can contribute something positive.
Where can we find you?
You can’t. I’m like Wally – always hiding, surrounded by people who look and dress exactly like I do, sometimes behind an elephant.
However I am on Twitter (@KimberleySG) and I’m represented by the wonderful Rachel Letofsky at The Cooke Agency (www.cookeagency.ca)