8-Ball: Interview with Evie Christie

Evie Christie’s first book Gutted was published by ECW Press. Her novel, The Bourgeois Empire is out in Fall, 2010 with ECW Press. She’s currently working on an adaptation of Racine’s Andromache for Graham McLaren and Necessary Angel Theatre Company which will premiere at Luminato. Her work can (very rarely) be found in magazines and the anthologies Jailbreaks: 99 Canadian Sonnets (Biblioasis, 2008) and IV Lounge Nights (Tightrope, 2008).

1. What do you want to talk about—which question do you wish interviewers would ask, and what is your answer?

I don’t get interviewed very often and I don’t talk about my writing very much.

These questions, they are lovely.

2. What advice do you wish you’d received, but didn’t, when you first started to take your writing seriously?

Slow down, maybe. But that doesn’t work in your early 20’s anyway.

3. What is wrong with the publishing industry, and what are they getting right?

I know almost nothing about the publishing industry.

4. How will technology change writing?

I don’t know. I like technology so I’m going to guess it will do some good and inevitably some bad. Like anything else.

5. What is your process for a typical piece of writing, from idea to publication? (Give a specific example.)

I don’t set out to write poems or stories. Something comes to me over days and weeks, I write notes everywhere. It takes me a while to get to the writing and when I do I stay up for weeks or months until it’s done.

I’m not good about publishing unfortunately, I so rarely send work to journals but if someone asks me for a poem I’ll always happily send something. When I stumbled into writing prose I really wanted to be in Joyland, it was a lit crush so I was truly excited when it was accepted. And e-mail submissions are so much nicer–consider the technology question answered!

I sent my first book, Gutted to Michael Holmes and he was very good to me, I’d only had a few poems in small magazines at that time and I didn’t know exactly what I was doing. I sent my novella to Mr. Holmes as soon as it was done, I’ve yet to complete edits.

6. What are your daily habits as a writer, and as a reader?

I’m working on an adaptation of Racine’s Andromache right now for Graham McLaren and Necessary Angel Theatre Company. I work on new drafts every day. This means I spend time researching and working on new drafts every night. There’s a lot of ‘dicking around’ involved as well (I jacked this perfectly fitting phrase from Andrew Hood’s Desk Space interview). Almost everything I’ve written involves equal parts staring at the wall, googling, wishing I still smoked, writing and playing youtube deejay.

7. What is your ambition as a writer—what do you want to accomplish, personally and professionally?

I don’t have a truly lofty ambition as a writer, I try to write something I want to read and something that reads true. I hope to write something small and beautiful in my lifetime.

8. Why don’t you quit?

I think about it and not in any melodramatic sense. Sometimes it comes down to a cumpulsion, writing as a behavioural disorder! I did quit for a while when I considered the fact that I would never write like Larkin, Hughes, Faulkner or DeLillo, never. I try not to take it all so seriously.

There’s no good answer. I just may.