In July this year Gina ColeNa Viro’s first novel has been published. It is a sci-fi novel set in the distant future and featuring Pacific culture.
What book would you have liked to write and why?
I just read Kurangaituku by Whiti Hereaka. I can see why he won the Jan Medlicott Prize for Fiction at the Ockhams. The structure is so clever, the sentences are beautiful, and I love how it centers a bird woman as the main character. I wish I had written it – I love it.
Which writer do you turn to when you have writer’s block?
I don’t know if I have writer’s block or if I’m just tired. But when that happens, I just enjoy the fictional novel that I’m reading at the time. Right now I’m reading The Visitor, a science fiction novel by CJ Cherryh.
What book had such an impact on you that you bought it for your friends?
A little life of Hanya Yanagihara.
* How I Write: Murdoch Stephens and the soundtracks of his books
* How do you write a good short story? “Make every one of these words count”
* How I Write: Shilo Kino, winner of the Young Adult Fiction Award
What book do you come back to over and over again to re-read?
I don’t really read books over and over unless I’m doing research. But when I was 14, I read The Godfather by Mario Puzo about 6 times.
Which authors would you like in your book club?
Nnedi Okorafor, Octavia Butler, NK Jemisin, Lani Wendt Young and Sisilia Eteuati.
What book did you read as a child or teenager that made a deep impression on you?
Pounamu Pounamu by Witi Ihimaera.
When it comes to a memorable book, which is more important, a great plot or great characters?
What is your writing routine? Do you have a certain time of day when you like to write?
I get up, I have my breakfast, I do yoga or sword fight. Then I sit at my computer and write. Or I sit and stare at the screen, watching the cursor flash on a blank page with my hands resting on the keyboard. I like to write in the morning when I feel fresh and full of energy. I like to write in the middle of the day when I have stuff to sort out. Sometimes I like to write after midnight when it’s quiet.
And where do you write?
Most of the time I write at my desk in my home office. But I also like to sit outside in the garden and write in the sun.
What “must-read” book haven’t you read? Come on, confess
Aue by Becky Manawatu. It’s at the top of my pile of books to read!