This isn’t going to be a long one. Newsflash: Margo Lanagan rocks.
I haven’t gotten to read any of her surely delicious novels yet, but I’m hoping to remedy that soonest (they aren’t available U.S.-side yet). Her short stories though, are a continual delight. New ones as anticipated as much in our house as someone discovering a previously unknown, even-more-delicious form of chocolate. (This would be known not as milk, dark, white, etcetera, but as GOD.) I believe that, predictably enough, "Singing My Sister Down," the first story in Black Juice, was my initial discovery of her work. Chocolate. God. Etcetera. (Although I actually recommend you read the story last, after all the other stories in Black Juice, just to save it for yourself like a secret.)
But if you haven’t read her yet, don’t listen to me. Listen to Jules and Eisha. They had a stellar co-review of Red Spikes, the new collection, yesterday (I meant to read and review it for today as well, but didn’t get my copy in time — boo), and today they have a fabulous interview with her. And, yes, it includes the Pivot at the end. (Yay!) And there’s even a process porn question:
7-Imp: Since we’re sort of sharing you with Gwenda of Shaken & Stirred for this One Shot World Tour event, we’ll ask a Gwenda-like question: Tell us about your writing process (starting wherever you like: getting the idea, starting to write, under deadline, etc.).
Margo: Have you got a spare hour or two? I can talk process-porn until the cows come home — and I loved reading about everyone’s work habits in the Summer Blog Blast Tour, so keep asking, Gwenda!
I keep notebooks, where I collect bits of stuff that might be useful, also encouraging quotations. I write first drafts longhand, to avoid aggravating my RSI and becoming keyboard-dependent. This last novel I’ve been writing, I tried to fool myself (because I would otherwise have been too intimidated) that it was just a whole bunch of linked short stories, so I worked on this ‘collection’ awhile before sitting down, admitting it was a novel, and working out which other ‘short stories’ (i.e. chapters) I needed to turn it into a complete novel. Now I’m finishing those off, combing and combing through the word-processorscript, filling up all the white space and adding pages. I can neither compose nor edit on-screen – I need to see the full page I’m working on, and the size of the pile of pages either side of it.