Interview: with Rebecca Fraser
Rebecca Fraser is an Australian author, with a solid career of writing with influence across a variety of mediums. Her short stories, poems, and flash fiction have appeared in numerous Australian and international anthologies, magazines, and journals since 2007. Her first novel Curtis Creed and the Lore of the Ocean was released by IFWG Publishing Australia in 2018. Rebecca actively engages in various writing communities and holds a Master of Arts in Creative Writing, and a Certificate of Publishing (Copy Editing & Proofreading). For more information about Rebecca, you can visit her website www.writingandmoonlighting.com, or follow her on Twitter and Instagram.
Hi, Rebecca! Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hi Bartholemew. I call myself a 'writer and moonlighter' - by day I'm a mild mannered freelance copy and content writer, but by night I tap into my dark side and write sci fi, fantasy and horror. I'm as fascinated with the ocean as I am with the human condition and experience, so many of my stories feature a coastal or nautical setting or have twisty psychological undercurrents. I also run StoryCraft Creative Writing Workshops which is a real passion project of mine, as well as copy editing and proofreading. I live on Victoria's Mornington Peninsula with my beloved family and ancient cat.
Do you have any particular writing rituals you are comfortable sharing?
Hmmmm, not really rituals as such. One thing I have to do is type all my manuscripts in Courier New font. I know it's a font reviled by many - not on a Comic Sans level, of course - but if I type in another font such as Times New Roman, it just doesn't look right on the screen, and I can't move forward. I usually convert to a more 'appreciated' font on completion.
Another thing is I have to have silence when I write. I really envy other writers who listen to incredible playlists while they work, and I know many who tailor a soundtrack specifically for their current WIP. How do you guys do that?
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?
The zombie apocalypse has had its time in the sun ... and is starting to smell a little like it too! That said, I do love a good zombie flick or read, and if the trope is being tackled in a refreshing way, then I'll always be a fan. Jump scares are becoming synonymous with laziness when it comes to horror, in my opinion. I'd love to see more of the 'art' of horror being pushed back into the spotlight - understated class, implied horror, the suggestion of the monster - make me wait, make me stress, make my imagination go to town. I also love a good twist in the tale - M. Night Shyamalan style when he's firing on all cylinders.
What books are beside your bed right now?
A really eclectic pile. I've got a few pages left of Margo Lanagan's Sea Hearts (my heart!). Karen Joy Fowler's We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves is next up. I have a book about the life of Matthew Flinders by James D Mack that I've been wanting to get my hands on for ages. Best Ghost Stories collection by Algernon Blackwood that I'm dipping into. I'm also waiting impatiently on Liane Moriarty's newest. Published or unpublished, what's the hardest scene you've written?
This question made me think ...I once plotted a whole novel (it was a pretty cool plot), but after writing furiously for perhaps three chapters, I realised the characters I was using were simply vehicles of catharsis. I'd been through a bit of upheaval at the time, and - although completely subconsciously back then - on reflection it was evident I was using my writing as a coping tool. Even though it was hard at the time to write scenes I associated with trauma, it kind of helped ... I recommend it! The book, unsurprisingly, never went anywhere, although I still think the plot is cool, so who knows. One day, maybe ...