Interview: with Tee Linden
Tee Linden is a member of the NSW Writer’s Centre. Her articles appear twice monthly at The Sydney Feminists. Her short stories Bounds and The Witch are included in anthologies from Margaret River Press and Stringybark Publishing, both in 2018. Her work has been published in AntipodeanSF, Meow Meow Pow Pow and Pink Cover Zine and is upcoming in various literary magazines. Find more at teelinden.com
Hi Tee, can you please tell us a little about yourself?
I’m a writer living south of Sydney. I’ve been writing all my life but I’ve only just started submitting my work to magazines and competitions. I love sci fi, horror, fantasy and anything that's a little bit weird.
Do you have any particular writing rituals you are comfortable sharing?
I just try to write every day. I have a long commute to my job, and a tablet, so I try to make the most of my time. I also try to devote time each weekend, and I set goals for word counts per week on any works in progress. I have to set word count goals otherwise my writing time will consist of me sitting near the computer pondering plot points.
To what degree do you feel everything has already been written, in some form or another? Have you ever started writing a story, only to discover someone has already written it?
I agree, to an extent. To me, stories are sums of parts and I think there are always parts of stories that will echo things you’ve read before. But stitching together different parts and themes, lighting stories in a different way or perspective, allows for a new version or a fresh experience.
I also think humans like to rehash stories; we enjoy retelling them in different ways. We’re storytellers, and we’re listeners, we like to experience stories over again. Or maybe that’s just me… I read my favourite books over and over all the time.
No, I can’t recall writing a story and then discovering someone else has written it, but then I write some bizarre things. However, I’m sure some elements of my stories seem familiar to those reading.
Are there any horror/fantasy/sci-fi tropes or sub genres which you feel are played out? And vice versa, what tropes would you like to see more of?
Maybe the two-guys one-woman love triangle. I’ve seen it many times and when I’m reading a book and come across it, I’m starting to feel tired. I don’t think there’s enough freshness added to it, at least in what I’m reading, to stave off my disinterest. But obviously a lot of people haven’t had enough of it… so who am I to take it away from them?
Me personally, I love a good villain protagonist story. Give me more.
What books are beside your bed right now?
I have books scattered all over my apartment, but beside my bed is Jeff Vandermeer’s Annihilation and James S.A. Corey’s Leviathan Wakes.
Published or unpublished, what’s the hardest scene you’ve written?
Probably a scene that’s taking place on Mars in as yet unfinished story. I’m doing a lot of research to make it believable, fact checking, which is what’s making it a difficult scene.