Between the Lines interviews a diverse selection of Australian writers to uncover the hidden processes, research, and inspiration that goes into the making of a book. With a focus on debut writers from independent presses, Jay Anderson and Amy Lin ask questions of short story writers, novelists and poets to learn more about what informs recent works of literature. In responding to Between the Lines, our authors open up new questions, and ignite further conversations.
“...as soon as I started thinking about what faith might mean for certain characters, it helped shape who they became. I was raised agnostic, but I’ve always been interested in the way people’s faith can shape who they are—when someone leans toward God and when they lean away from God.”
“I believe there are fundamental questions that consume so many children of survivors. They relate to the themes untangled in the collection but cannot yield answers: ‘could I have survived what my parents survived?’ and, ‘If the Holocaust had never happened and, consequently, my parents had never met, does that mean I owe my life to this catastrophe?’”
“We can be moved by music in a way that we cannot verbally express or capture; similarly, a poem can resonate from what is not said. I think a large part of my work is working with the inarticulable aspects of a life, how they might be conveyed without being represented in a traditional way.”
“Though I knew through all this what to expect, having my own novel published was a unique experience—I was much more anxious than I expected to be...The main feeling I had when reviews started coming in was closer to relief than elation, like I’d been squinting in a dark room for a while and then someone drew a blind.”
“I just wanted to start conversations, to let young people know that they aren’t alone...”
“...we only know each other in the places where our stories intersect. We know the parts of each other that we choose to share, and the versions that we present. There’s a great power in choosing to whom, and to what extent, we share ourselves.”
“I never stop thinking about what it means to be human; and I try to celebrate the joys and sorrow of living, and the ways in which we all are dying, and eventually arrive at death.”
Amy Lin is a Perth writer who has recently completed her PhD on mental illness in Australian poetry. She has published poems, essays, interviews and reviews in Westerly, Cordite, Social Alternatives, Verity La and Axon. Amy has performed her poetry at Perth Writers Festival, Voicebox, Perth Poetry Club, Sturmfrei Poetry Night, and Spoken Word Perth.
Jay Anderson is a professional writer and editor, with a background in Literary and Cultural Studies. He’s currently completing an Honours of creative writing at Curtin University—where he is the Chief Editor of the campus’ student publication, Grok Magazine.