Queensland Writers Week Drive-by #2: Linda Brucesmith

Linda Brucesmith is a Brisbane-based writer and public relations consultant.

Her public relations business and clients have provided her with unique perspectives on tourism, hospitality, food, horticulture, medicine, mining, dance, academia, media and the internet. She has worked as a magazine and newspaper journalist in Sydney, Melbourne, the Snowy Mountains and on the Gold Coast.

Her first short story was published in Perilous Adventures Magazine in June this year. Her second will be published by Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine in November, 2012.

1. I first knew I was a writer when …
… in my senior year at school, my English teacher gave me full marks for a short story. I can still see the line she scribbled through the first mark she gave me…  19½… and the way she replaced it with 20 in her red ink pen. I wondered why she made the change. The thoughts I hoped she had thought took my breath away. I read the story to the class; afterwards there was pin-drop silence. When I finished school I detoured into journalism and public relations and now, at last, I’m trying to recreate that first, pindrop silence.

2. I find inspiration in Brisbane because …
… we haven’t polished it all back to sameness and we’re relaxed enough to delight in the differences.

3. What was the first book/story you read that made you think ‘I want to write like that!”?
… Neil Gaiman’s first solo prose novel, “Stardust”, is a book I wave under people’s noses whenever I get the chance. It’s about Tristran Thorn, a half-Faerie creature raised by his father and stepmother in the village of Wall, which borders the land of Faerie. Foolishly, Tristran promises to cross into Faerie to retrieve a fallen star for his sweetheart, Victoria. In Faerie, stars are living creatures and Tristran finds the beautiful Yvaine.

If all that isn’t delicious enough, Gaiman wrote “Stardust” in dazzling prose that sparkles and fairly dances off the page. It’s fairydust and grit in just the right measure. I read it and re-read it and put the book down and carried the Wall world away with me and thought, “I want to write like that and if I manage to get anywhere close I’ll be wanting Robert de Niro to be my pirate in the movie version too.”

4. You get to go anywhere and anywhen: where do you go and what do you do?
… to Mexico, back to that little apartment with the stone steps running up the side of the cliff to the front door, with the serapes on the bed and the view over Banderas Bay. And I’d walk to the old town each day where I’d eat huevos rancheros and watch people water flowering pots of geraniums on their verandahs with water from recycled glass bottles. I’d see patched-up VW Beetles bounce over cobblestone streets and wonder what that military green helicopter was doing hammering across the sky with men with guns hanging from its doors on a blue day like this. I’d love the way the Mexican sun browns without burning and then I’d go back to my apartment and I’d write.

5. Donuts or danishes?
… who’s buying? Am I alone? With someone I like? Is there lots of good conversation going on? Where are we? Where have we been and what happens next? All of this influences my foodie decisions. More information please…    



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