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Ali Kayn

answers the Usual Questions

 Ali Kayn, photo; 220x320

Has your interaction with fans, for example, at conventions, affected your work?

I had someone race up to me once and exclaim, "The first thing I do is look for your byline". Which was a nice boost to the ego. So was the editor who complained because he was abused when I didn't submit anything, but he was blamed for my lack of content. Hee hee. Admirers are great for the ego, critics (who evaluate, not naggers) can be good for the material, but it's the feedback from professionals that is going to affect how I present my work. Fans just encourage me to do more. (Blame them or not!)

Is there any particular incident (a letter, a meeting, a comment that stands out?

A very admiring e-mail early in my career that had lots of misspellings and summed up by saying I was very smart because I agreed with his views.

Do you have a favourite author or book (or writer or film or series) that has influenced you or that you return to?

Georgette Heyer, because I love Regency England/ Eighteenth Century Europe, and because she is witty and charming. P G Wodehouse and Oscar Wilde for their wit.

Janet Evanovich and Lilian Jackson Braun for their humour. Francoise Sagan and Zola for style. I'm addicted to series, so once I start I end up reading everything in the set. Buffy the Vampire Slayer the movie is very different without writer Joss Whedon at the helm, but I love the wit and feminism.

When I like something I watch and re-watch it until I can practically recite it. Then I need a rest. Most of what I keep returning to is fun and soothing, a salve for the over-fevered imagination.

Who is the person you would most like to be trapped in a lift with? or a spaceship?

Obviously I thought up this question never expecting to answer it myself. Hmm. No-one who is addicted to puns. Well, maybe Terry Pratchett. We met on the WordPerfect forum, so we can talk about books and the vagaries of software companies who can't/won't internationalise their products properly. Or, wait, BILLY GATES. Boy, have I got a few words for HIM.

Who is the person you would most DISlike to be trapped in a lift with? Or a spaceship?

Politician Jeff Kennett. Anyone with really strongly held beliefs -- incontrovertible, unchangeable beliefs. People who've decided they have nothing to learn usually have the same amount to give.

What would you pack for space? (Is there a food, beverage, book, teddy bear, etc that you couldn't do without?)

My cats. My books. My computer network. If there's no internet connection, though, I'm not going.

What is the most important thing you would like to get/achieve from your work?

A livelihood. A sense of completion. The idea that I have left behind something for people to think and talk about.

What is the special satisfaction of your work?

The fact that stories I have told come back to me, that things I have taught in my classes and written in my articles have taken on a life without me.

submitted by Ali Kayn

February, 2010

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Just the facts:
Born: Australia
Resides: Melbourne, Australia
Bibliography/Awards: Editor, Festivale Online Magazine

Web site:
Blog: Alizandria


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