…is me!

So I’m featured writer over at Beach Hut Writers this week and answered some good questions with some daft replies. It was fun.

If you have problems reading the text on the images below head on over to the Beach Hut Writers Facebook page to read the whole sorry mess in real text.


It is time again to delve into the psyche of another beachie. This week it is Justine Kilkerr. Take it away Justine... Q: A recent survey said the British public thought being a writer was the best job – are they right? You know nothing, British Public. Q: Where do you write? In bed. At my desk in my writing room. In the woods. Sometimes these are one and the same place. Q:How do you write? I write in my head mostly, while walking. This is my best work. Then I forget it all and handwrite something completely different, which is far from my best work and generally makes me wince. Everything wince-worthy gets handwritten because I am a masochist. Then, after weeks of crying, cleaning the toilet and rearranging my sock drawer, I'll type up the handwritten notes on my Mac. Then I try to pretend none of that ever happened. Let us never speak of this again. Q: Do you play well with others? Have you ever collaborated with another writer or illustrator? Other humans scare me! I'm a very solitary writer/worker. However, I do stalk various illustrators on the Internet and dream of someone wondeful making drawings for my next novel, a book of wolves and forests and dark places. Do you know of anyone? Q: Is your agent Svengali or Lucifer? My agent is Joan from Mad Men. Q: Can you afford to live from your writing alone? Not yet. Q: As a freelance writer, what is the worst job you have ever done? Web designer. No, seriously. Clients, man. Q: Can you spell? Spell what? Q: If you hit a writing target how do you reward yourself? I stare in disbelief at the screen awhile then howl. Also, beer. Q: Do you remember the first piece you ever wrote – was it any good? I wrote a story for my mum's birthday when I was six. It was called The Grey Goose. It was a masterpiece. Q:Who do you credit most with your choice to be a writer? My stupid brain. My stupider heart.


Q: How do you work with your editor – are they friend or foe? Friend. Terrifying, terrifying friend. Q: How often do you google yourself? Too often. Q: Do you read reviews of your books written on public forums (Goodreads or Amazon for example)? Yes, through squinted eyes, while yelling “La la la I can't hear you!” and only after at least half a bottle of pinot noir. This happens weekly. Q: If you had an evil twin, what would they do while pretending to be you? Don't you mean if I had a good twin? My good twin would be at her writing desk at 8:30 every morning, would write until 11:00, have a glass of water, write until 1:30, eat a salad for lunch and walk the dog, then would write from 3:00 until 5:00. That's what my good twin would do while pretending to be me. Q: If you could escape into a fictional world, where would you go and what character would you choose to be? This world is plenty fictional enough for me thanks, but I can imagine myself fitting in well in House Stark. I want a Dire Wolf. Winter, after all, is coming. Q: If you were a superhero, what would your power be? What would be your Kryptonite? I am a superhero. My super power is procrastination and nothing can stand against my mighty powers, nothing I tell you! Q: When another writer has great success are you glad for them, or eaten up by jealousy? I'm jealous and feel terrible about feeling jealous. Honestly, I'm a bad person. Q: What is your guilty pleasure? Guilt ruins the pleasure: why feel guilty? Have your pleasure; it's yours, no one else's. Q: Have you ever written a sex scene – how was it for you? Yes. It was...weird. Q: How often do you steal your family’s lives and use them for your books? I've never written anything that wasn't about my family. Please don't tell my family. Q: Have you ever written/ prepared or practiced an acceptance speech for a major award? What award and what was the best line in the speech? I've just been awarded an Arts Council grant, does that count? It should, because I prepared a speech for the acceptance, the best line of which is “HOLY SHIT!”. Pretty good stuff.


Q: Who would play you in the film of your life? My dog, Lulu. Q: If you were not a writer, what would you be? Sad. Q: Would you trade a major organ (from your own body) for a film deal? Yes. My brain. Q: What is the worst criticism you have ever received for your writing? It was when my debut novel, Advice for Strays, was short listed for The Guardian's Not The Booker Prize. It made me feel terrible and I cried. I try hard not to remember it. Q: What is the greatest compliment you have ever received for your writing? I was compared to Russell Hoban once. I'm assuming it was my writing and not my looks. Either way, it made me feel insanely happy. Q: What question should we add to this questionnaire? I'm buying: what are you drinking? Justine Kilkerr bio Novelist; poet; deer in wolf's clothing. Justine is a native Croydoner but got her Brighton naturalisation papers in 1989. She started wanting to write novels in kindergarten, never expected to get published (mostly because she never tried) then, in a bizarre and fortunate turn of events, was: her debut novel, Advice for Strays, was published by Jonathan Cape and Vintage and was shortlisted for The Guardian's Not The Booker Prize. She has just received an Arts Council Award for research and time to write her second novel, Bite Marks. Her writing has been described as 'magical realism', 'experimental' and, most importantly, 'writing'.  Things that make her feel happy: being outdoors, her dog, risotto, breathing, science, podcasts, creating new worlds with words, making photographs, the ocean, cuddling, the sound of banjos, baby goats, the constellations, Guinness, wolves, the word shenanigans, any combination of the above. Find out more about Justine by going to her website: amihumanyet.co.uk follow her on twitter @sniffyjenkins and read some of her short stories on tumblr: sniffyjenkins.tumblr.com