Feed Your Head

Author Evie Wyld on her Dazed short story, 'If I Could Turn Back Time', plus an exciting new short story competition

Image

The July issue of Dazed & Confused, 'Feed Your Head', features 11 musically themed short stories written by some of the most exciting young writers around. Dazed books editor Stuart Hammond recruited Richard Milward, Sheila Heti, Joe Dunthorne, Sunjeev Sahota, Kirsten Reed, Blake Butler, Evie Wyld, Ross Raisin, Matthias 'Wolfboy' Connor, Arthur Bradford and Valeria Luiselli to choose a song lyric as the starting point for their 1000-word "short-short". ''The authors we've included can't really be said to be unified by any sort of scene or movement; they're just all properly first-rate young writers. That section's not a comprehensive survey of course; it's an entirely subjective list of a bunch of the authors who've got us all excited in the books department over the last couple of years", says Hammond. Get the new issue for some excellent summer reading, and then get inspired to enter your own short story in our competition which will be judged by some of the above authors.

I chose Cher and 'If I Could Turn Back Time'. It's such a wonderful and bizarre video. I remember thinking Cher's outfit - the leather jacket and g-string leotard - was the height of sophistication and that it was the kind of thing that I would wear as an adult woman

Dazed Digital: Can you tell us a bit about the inspiration behind the novel?
Evie Wyld:
My first novel 'After the Fire', a Still Small Voice was inspired by the men in the Australian side of my family. There are similarities in the text - my grandparents owned a pie shop in Sydney and won prizes decorating wedding cakes, and my uncle was conscripted to fight in Vietnam. But the people in my book are very different. I was interested in the different ways people manage not to communicate with each other, and what the fall out from that is.

DD: What song/artist did you choose and why?
Evie Wyld:
I chose Cher and 'If I Could Turn Back Time'. It's such a wonderful and bizarre video. I remember thinking Cher's outfit - the leather jacket and g-string leotard - was the height of sophistication and that it was the kind of thing that I would wear as an adult woman. So nostalgia really. And sadness that I never wore it.

DD: Is it difficult to write such a short piece?
Evie Wyld:
It is difficult to write short pieces, luckily for me this was a slightly doctored scene I cut out of my second novel, because it didn't have a place there any more. So I was very pleased to have a place to put it.

DD: How do you normally come up with ideas and characters for your novels?
Evie Wyld:
There's not really an answer for this that's of any use to anyone. I normally use everything I've learnt or not learnt about everything I've seen or heard or read about since I can remember, and it gets spat out as something or other, usually something different from what I was intending.

DD: What other books are you working on right now?
Evie Wyld:
I'm finishing my second novel 'All the Birds, Singing' which is due out in May 2013, and I'm working on a graphic memoir with artist Joseph Sumner, called 'Rodney Fox, I Love You'. It's about my childhood between London and Australia, and there's a lot about sharks. You can take a look at the work in progress if you follow the links HERE.

DD: What advice do you have for young authors out there?
Evie Wyld:
There is no money in being an author. Do not give up your day job, but do not give up the writing either!

Keep an eye out for the 11 short shorts on Dazed Digital in the next few weeks

Here's your chance to submit a 700-1000 word short story inspired by your favourite song lyric. Five entries will be shortlisted by books editor Stuart Hammond and published on Dazed Digital. The overall winner will be be chosen by the authors featured in Dazed's July issue and be printed in the September issue of Dazed & Confused. Submit your story over email HERE. The deadline is Monday July 2, 2012 - Get writing!

More Arts+Culture