Emily Bio PicEmily O’Beirne

Thirteen-year-old Emily woke up one morning with a sudden itch to write her first novel. All day, she sat through her classes, feverishly scribbling away (her rare silence probably a cherished respite for her teachers). And by the time the last bell rang, she had penned fifteen handwritten pages of angsty drivel, replete with blood-red sunsets, moody saxophone music playing somewhere far off in the night, and abandoned whiskey bottles rolling across tables. Needless to say, that singular literary accomplishment is buried in a box somewhere, ready for her later amusement.

From Melbourne, Australia, Emily was recently granted her PhD. She works part-time in academia, where she hates marking papers but loves working with her students. She also loves where she lives but travels as much as possible and tends to harbour crushes on cities more than on people.

Some random questions answered:

What is the hardest thing about writing?

Finding the time to be able to sit and write.

What is the easiest thing about writing?

Once you find the time to sit down and write!

Do you ever get writer’s block?

No, not yet. I get lazy, but not blocked.

Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors.

I don’t read as much as I used to before I started writing more. My favorite writers tend to be female non-fiction writers, including: Helen Garner, Joan Didion, Janet Malcolm, Anna Funder, Geraldine Brooks. And I nearly always love their non-fiction more than their fiction, weirdly.

In fiction, I read Michael Cunningham to remember how to use words well and wisely.

What book/s are you reading at present?

A collection of Amy Hempel’s short stories, The Dog of the Marriage.

What is your favourite film and why?

Too many to count. Again, I love non-fiction when it comes to film. I love a good documentary. Some I love: Paper Dolls, It Kinda Scares Me, Waste Land, Stories we Tell, Sherman’s March, Blackfish, West of Memphis, When the Levees Broke, 20 Feet from Stardom.

Favorite TV shows:

The Wire, Treme, Orange is the New Black, Roseanne, Golden Girls, Skam, Person of Interest

Where can you see yourself in five years time?

Writing still, I hope.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Be quiet. Listen.

Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?

This is tricky, because the people I admire most are writers, and they can often be difficult to talk to. Probably Janet Malcolm.