Angie Rega was one of the highlights of my Clarion South experience in 2009. She’s bright, funny, generous and is a very talented writer. Her imagination is dynamic, fertile and sparkling, and her writing is informed by a genuine love of every story she tells. She’s is also a source of interesting information about Cicilian magic, like putting a glass of water beside your bed to draw away the bad dreams! She’s been a professional belly dancer but now passes her days as a teacher-librarian in a school that is very lucky to have her. Since Clarion, her work has been published in Cabinet des Fées, Cezanne’s Carrot, and the FableCroft anthology Worlds Next Door. Like many writers, she has cats.
1. The first story I ever told was …
… the adventures of Fluffy, my cat, and my imaginary friend, Jev, Jevvevah; it didn’t go down too well. Growing up in an Italian family and raised a Catholic, I was sent to my first confession not really understanding what it was all about. I thought the priest wanted to hear me tell him a story, so I did.
It was my first rejection.
2. I write because …
… I have to. I need to. I want to.
It shuts the voices in my head up. They’re quiet when I’m writing; it’s the only time they listen, when I’m putting what they say on paper.
3. The greatest lesson Clarion South taught me was …
This is a really hard one to answer because I learned so many valuable things at Clarion South. I met the most amazing people with tremendous beauty and generosity of spirit and it holds a very special place in my heart.
Hmmm… it may come down to voices again…not mine but the seventeen other voices that belonged to the students and tutors of Clarion South. Each time I try to cast a critical eye over my stories, I hear them. I listen and I learn.
I think perhaps the greatest lesson was: learn by doing. Writing, writing, writing. And then write some more – and, oh yes! Critiques are so much easier to do deliver when you have your sock puppet do the talking.
4. If I could be any fictional character for a day, with no consequences, I would choose …
Scheherazade: the born story-teller. I like the idea of staying up all night telling tales and being a good enough story-teller to keep people intrigued and awake!
5. Donuts (or doughnuts) or danishes?
Churros – Spanish donuts are my favourite. As long as they’re hot and sugary and accompanied by a strong coffee. Delish.