Jan Goldie writes books and short stories. Her latest creation is a children’s fantasy adventure about a boy called Brave and a girl named True. The book features a magical world, strange creatures and months of travel without a bath. Jan loves coffee, champagne and raspberries so she wouldn’t last long on that journey. You can find out more about Jan and Brave’s Journey by visiting her website www.jangoldie.com.
1. What inspired your At the Edge story?
My story was inspired by award winning writers Lee Murray (Co-editor of At the Edge) and Piper Mejia’s Shortcuts novella Mika, also published by Paper Road Press. I loved the feel of that story and how quintessentially New Zealand and M?ori values, symbols and objects were threaded through the narrative and voice. I wanted to write something with that same timbre. I also really wanted to give my character a kind of badass off world law enforcement vibe all her own. Hoping I achieved that!
2. What appealed to you about this project?
The fact that these were Kiwi and Australian takes on speculative fiction. I loved the fact we were joining forces across the ditch to create and imagine and I salute the editors for pulling it all together. Plus, I relished the opportunity to have another go at horror. I’d written a fairly placid, dystopian type story for the horror collection: Baby Teeth: Bite Sized Tales of Terror. This time I wanted to introduce a more defined horror element because I find writing horror really personally challenging. Essentially used to writing glass half full YA tales, it pushed my comfort zone a bit closer to the edge. And that’s a good thing.
3. What do you love about short stories?
I like the element of self-delusion at the beginning of the process. Oh, you say to yourself, this is a short story. It won’t take long. Just 3000 efficient, sparkly, enticing words. So compact. So simple. And that’s when the hard times begin. Rethinking ideas, revisiting characters, pacing them through action scenes because if they fall that way, it’s not going to work. How did you even think that would work? Hair is pulled. Doors are slammed. Words are said. Sanity unravels and you don’t know what you were thinking to even attempt this bloody awful, terrifying, torturous piece of utter… but then you think up a cool ending and your character says something so snarky it makes you laugh. And before you know it, the short story has become a creature in its own right. That’s when you compartmentalise all your anguish and say ‘Yep, I wrote that. Boom!’ as if it was the easiest thing on earth to do.
4. Can you remember the first thing you ever read that made you want to write?
Go Dog Go by P.D. Eastman. Hello again! Hello! Do you like my hat? I do not like your hat. Goodbye again. Goodbye.
5. What’s next for you?
I’m about to return to working on a futuristic web series with two other writers. It’s called “Re-levelution” and it’s a fictional story about New Zealanders confronting extreme global climate change. Set in a climate-damaged coastal NZ town, the country’s largest port becomes a target for eco-terrorists following a political assassination. The story aims to focus on the human effects of climate change from a New Zealand perspective. I’m also writing a middle grade fantasy story but it’s stalled!