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Moira Richards

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

Short Story Day Africa 2013: The Interview

1. Do you actually enjoy writing, or do you write because you like the finished product?

I <3 writing – paid my dues minuting meetings which is a seriously fun way of whiling away that sorta time.

2. What are you reading right now? And are you enjoying it? (No cheating and saying something that makes you sound like the intelligensia).

The topmost poetry collection on my review pile and yes, I’ll enjoy it otherwise I’ll not read it. Life being too short & etc...

3. Have you ever killed off a character and regretted it?

No, but they sometimes crash a car into a tree to illustrate the depreciation of fixed assets.

4. If you could have any of your characters over for dinner, which would it be and why?

Ms Zansi! She owns a bakery and gets to do cool stuff like calculate depreciation in the fixed assets chapter, and reconcile her creditors accounts, calculate her VAT, cost her bread in the various other chapters. She also manages to almost get herself involved in a price-fixing scandal but luckily she’s completed the chapter on business ethics and is saved. Here she is, drawn by Wouter de Witt, reminding *you* of the importance of business ethics:

5. Which one of your characters would you never invite into your home and why?

Mr Zanzi, Ms Zansi’s partner in the partnerships chapter. Mr Zanzi bakes great pies but is rather feckless and draws lotsa cash from the business, and lotsa baked goods to take to his old mother for the funeral of her best friend. And he takes lots of time off from the shop to take his old mother visting (in the partnership bakkie, with partnership petrol, and despite not having a drivers licence).

6. Ernest Hemingway said: write drunk, edit sober. For or against?

Oy, so many more fun things to do when drunk…

7. If against, are you for any other mind altering drug?

Like imagination? That’s really cool..

8. Our adult competition theme is Feast, Famine and Potluck. Have you ever put food in your fiction? If so, what part did it play in the story?

Lots of bread and pies in Clever Accounting Grade 11. Just about every accounting concept can be cooked.

9. What’s the most annoying question anyone’s ever asked you in an interview?

Probably #9 since it obliges me to admit I’ve never been interviewed before.

10. If you could be any author other than yourself, who would you be?

Jane Austen

11. If you could go back in time and erase one thing you had written from your writing history, what would it be and why?

That email I realised, as I hit send, was sooo destined for the wrong addy :-(

12. What’s the most blatant lie you’ve ever told?


13. If someone reviews you badly, do you write them into your next book/story and kill them?

Why bother.

14. What’s your favourite bad reviewer revenge fantasy?

Who’s that again?

15. What’s the most frustrating thing about being a writer in Africa?

Writing to deadline when it’s 40◦ and perspiration’s likely to short out the laptop.

16. Have you ever written naked?

As in #6

17. Does writing sex scenes make you blush?


18. Who would play you in the film of your life?

Bilbo Baggins

19. If you won the Caine Prize for African Fiction, what would you do with the money?

#6 *blush* *blush*

20. What do you consider your best piece of work to date?

That one they wouldn’t publish.

21. What are you doing on 21 June 2013, to celebrate Short Story Day Africa?

#16 *blush* *blush* *blush*


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