TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF – HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN WRITING? ANY PUBLICATIONS? DO YOU HAVE A DAILY WRITING ROUTINE?
I have been writing for a long time. Over the last 5-10 years I have been trying to focus on it a bit more. I have a reading routine: unless I’m working for a deadline I like to start each day by drinking a black coffee and reading a short story. The story is a companion for the day and will sometimes act as a guide in one way or another once I start writing.
SPECIFICALLY, TELL US A BIT MORE ABOUT YOUR LONGLISTED STORY – THE INSPIRATION BEHIND IT, THE WRITING OF IT...
Looking back on it, it’s easy to think of this story in the context of the breakdown of my own parents’ marriage, and all the family holidays that came before, one of which was memorably in Ireland. But when I was writing it I was following a voice that seemed to come from nowhere, an optimistic man who is beset by the past and the future as he tries to savour his present. In that sense, the title is important for me. It silently shouts about the things that will happen to this man. I’m also interested by the splicing in children of two different stories—the mother’s and the father’s—and how irreconcilable they can seem. In that sense I think it’s partly a story about being mixed race, even though the characters are white. In terms of the writing, it caused me less pain than some others. a normal amount of pain, probably. I think that often if I have a clear sense of voice then other obstacles are assailable. I also enjoy writing in the first person.
NAME THREE SHORT STORY WRITERS YOU ESPECIALLY ADMIRE – WHY?
Jean Rhys’s short stories are astounding—she writes about loneliness so well; David Hayden’s have worlds within their sentences and can be turned over perhaps ceaselessly after they’re read; Clarice Lispector is some sort of sorceress who can turn everything on its head within the space of a few words.
Read VIJAY’S GBP Prize longlisted story, ‘ZENITH’, here.
VIJAY KHURANA has been a radio presenter on Australia’s triple j and a journalist for Germany’s Deutsche Welle. His writing has been published in Australian journals including Seizure and The Lifted Brow. His children’s chapter book, Regal Beagle, was published in 2014. He is currently completing a collection of short stories as part of a masters in creative writing at the University of East Anglia in Norwich. His project ‘A Little Death – Having Some Fun With a Modernist Climax’ features rewritings of James Joyce’s story ‘The Dead’ in the styles of other writers, and is forthcoming on creative criticism site The Bee.