Monday, 1 April 2013

Author Interview – Jessica Bell

Tell us a bit about your family. My parents are musicians, and live on a little Greek island called Ithaca. Back in the day they were the leaders of a band called Hard Candy.

What is your favorite quality about yourself? Non-judgmental.

What is your least favorite quality about yourself? Impatience.

What is your favorite quote, by whom, and why? “It was the kind of loneliness that made clocks seem slow and loud and made voices sound like voices across water.”  From Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson

Can you hear the loud, slow clock ticking? Its echo crossing a flat lake trying to reach the disappearing voices of loved ones you wished existed? The still and stifling warm air at dusk? Your heartbeat in your ears? The emptiness in your chest? The melancholia you can’t seem to place? An amazing comparison to loneliness, don’t you think? The clocks, the voices, the loudness of heartache. *sigh* …

What are you most proud of accomplishing so far in your life? The fact that, despite the full-time job, I can still find time to write books. So many people get into a rut, thinking they can’t manage it, that there’s no time. But it’s not true. If you really want something, you find the time.

What is your favorite color? Green

What is your favorite food? Beetroot and yoghurt salad.

What’s your favorite place in the entire world? Monemvasia.

How has your upbringing influenced your writing? Being the daughter of a semi-famous rock ‘n’ roll duo from Melbourne, Australia, I grew up surrounded by song. For a while it seemed logical to travel the musician’s path, especially when my first band, spAnk, hit it off in the Melbourne indie music scene back in the late 90s. Although I spent years writing and recording dozens of songs I decided I also had a love for the written word. So I guess music started everything off.

When and why did you begin writing? I started writing poetry first. I must have been about eleven, sitting on a rock by the sea in a little place in Greece called Monemvasia. I was so inspired by my surroundings that I needed a way to express it. Not long after, I started writing songs. My mother had decided to sell her twelve-string acoustic guitar to get a bit of extra cash. I saw it sitting by the front door. I think someone was coming over to take a look at it. I remember opening the case and thinking that it just looked so beautiful, and why would Mum want to get rid of it? I think she was in the music room at the time and I interrupted one of her recording sessions to ask about the guitar. When she told me she was selling it, I asked her whether I could have it. She said that I could if I learnt to play. From that day I had that guitar in my hands every single day until I moved to Greece in 2002. I taught myself how to play. The first song I ever wrote was played on one string and sung in a very high-pitched awful voice. I hope that cassette never gets dug up!

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Genre – Non-Fiction / Writing Skills Reference

Rating – PG

More details about the author & the book

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