March 11, 2009

Nalo Hopkinson Interview

Nalo HopkinsonNALO HOPKINSON is a writer who has so far published a collection of short stories, four novels and an anthology or two.

You’ve taught at workshops, such as Clarion West. What value do you find you get from teaching? What do you enjoy (and not enjoy) about the experience of teaching?

Teaching uses a lot of my mental and creative energy. The more teaching I do, the less writing I find I can do. And the fact is, reading pages and pages of ineffective prose is unpleasant. It makes reading a chore. On the other hand, it can be extraordinarily rewarding work. I love the moment when the light goes on in a budding writer’s eyes about some aspect of craft that had been invisible to her before. I enjoy it when someone dares to push his writing beyond the expected. And when I try to describe something about how fiction works, it makes me think about how/whether it works in my own fiction, and that helps me to improve my craft. Students challenge me in that way all the time. Plus there’s the simple contact high of interacting with people who, like me, are excited by words and story.

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