Queensland Writers Week Drive-by #5: Lee McGowan

Lee McGowan is a writer. Well, he wants to be a writer. Hey, at least he knows there’s a difference. He’s studying a PhD in Creative Writing at QUT, Brisbane, so he’s currently just practising. To fill his time, prevent him from turning over a few lazy hundred words a day and kick back, he does a spot of teaching, he works in Brisbane’s finest bookshop and writes the odd review for the Bookseller and Publisher people.

You can hear some of his work here.

1. I first knew I was a writer when …
I’ve known since I was really wee. I couldn’t tell people, because I didn’t believe it myself. I really love talking rubbish. People who know me are nodding their heads. It’s a ruse. The incessant chatter is elaborate rehearsal. Making sure the words go together. Exercise for sentences before they rest on the page.

2. The best thing about being a writer is …
Getting lost in it…and then not.

3. The worst thing about being a writer is …
There’s never enough time; to read the things I want to read, to learn the things I have to learn and write the things I need to write; there is never enough time.

4. What keeps you writing?
My girls. Three gorgeous girls (1 awesome wife, 2 cheeky wee monkeys). I write for them.
Someone once wrote that writing to them was like breathing. It’s simpler than that. My day is disproportionately better if I write, even if it’s shite.
The impact this has on those around me is motivation enough. Everything else is ice cream and jelly.
5. Donuts or danishes?
I used to work in a Bakers. The boss said I could eat as many donuts as I wanted. I was fifteen, I ate as many as I could. I didn’t eat another donut for nearly twenty years. A fair bit before the clamour of the green and creamy Donutery opening in Brisbane, a friend smuggled boxes from Sydney Airport and we made ice cream sandwiches out of them. Mmmm.

There’s nothing like a sultry Danish, but my sordid relationship with the donut has more passion.

He lives here.

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