Interview with Miriam Gracewaite the writer of the Stan stories
K:Hello,Miriam.This is my first ever human interview.I normally interview animals.
M.Well,I shall do my best.
K.Tell me,did you always want to write?
M.First I wanted to read then after reading The Mill on the Floss when I was nine,I wanted to write.
K I am surprised your mother let you read such a sad tale.
M.I hid behind an armchair!My career as a future romantic writer was more important than being obedient
K.You sound a bit like …Jesus Christ!
Do you read the Bible?
M.Well,I have read most of it and only wish I had learned some ancient languages to read the ancient Hebrew Bible.
K. What stopped you?
M.not many girls from the lower end of our society got to study Aramaic and Greek and so on.We were studying cookery books and learning to knit and peeling potatoes
K.I see..very drudge like
M.Nevertheless I got to University rather strangely in a way.It was the worst winter for many years and I was the only candidate who managed to cross the frozen Pennines.So the interviewers awarded me a place for determination and guts.Also because they were all fervent atheists and my nun headmistress wrote me a terrible reference… so that was a big advantage for me.She hated me.I don’t think anyone has hated me since then…to my surprise.
K.I shan’t probe into that painful area.What sort of books did you plan to write?
M.War and Peace…. The Man who was Thursday…… The Great Gatsby.Something deep and serious
K.I see.So how did you begin to write about Stan?
M.Well,it began as a joke.I never imagined I would write more than one story.It was about people ringing 999 when it was inappropriate
K.So why did you?
M.They seemed to have a life of their own especially Emile,the cat.
K.So you are a kind of medium for them?
M.I suppose you could say that.At least they are not ghosts.
K.So what advice would you give to a new writer?
M.Write every day..And keep the Samaritans phone number handy.Writing can stir you up.
K.I thought it was therapeutic.
M. Well,look at Sylvia Plath.Creative writers even lowly
ones are usually very sensitive people.
K.Do you have any hobbies?
M. Yed like talking.I like cooking and taking
photographs.Talking is best
I like colours,I like shape,I like necking by the lake.Sorry that is my ghost Rudolph
K.How about your love life since you mention it
M.I never talk about that in interviews..
K.Why not?Is it very lurid?
M.I write what I write.. the rest is silence.
K.Well,that seems a good point to end.Oh,she’s vanished apart from a big smile That means I shan’t have to buy her any tea!
May grace come unto you.
Is it golden?
I see it already!
Don’t mention it.