Geraldine Mills: a flash interview

Geraldine Mills Photo by Iain Mc Donald

1. Geraldine – you are taking part in Across the Genre event this year. You’ve written poetry, short stories and a children’s novel. Could you tell us how the writing process differs according to what your focus is?

A new piece of writing nearly always starts with an image and that image decides itself what it wants to be. If I force it into a coat that is too big or too small it will sulk, rebel. Therefore, it behoves me to listen to the pictures that are gathering in my head and give them the garment that best suits them.

The ideas have to go for a walk with me so I can step out the rhythm of a line or the movement in a scene of fiction. It is in that stepping out that it becomes clear if it will be a poem or a short story. Each writing process requires sitzfleisch. The bum has to then go to the seat and the hand has to start to put some semblance of shape on the page.

2. Do you consider festival appearances to be of benefit to writers and how so?

Yes, I do. One thing I love about writing is its solitary nature. But every so often I need to come blinking into the light of the real world. Festivals allow a connection with the part of humanity that loves literature. That connection is important for me. It’s always very rewarding to read to an audience who appreciates what you are attempting to do.

3. Would you like to tell us what you are currently working on?

I’m doing the final edits to my fifth poetry collection ‘Bone Road’ to be published by the inimitable Arlen House in the next few weeks. It is a verse memoir, charting the journey of my great-grandparents and their six children to the US in 1883. Then it’s back to taking some new idea for a long walk.

Geraldine is taking part in our Across the Genre event along with writers John O’Donnell and Paul Perry on Sunday 29th @ 14.30 in Bray Town Hall.

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