Richard Harland

Richard Harland in the Limelight

In this interview I’m talking to a fantasy and science fiction writer, living in New South WalesAustralia, who has been an academic, performance artist and writer, publishing 15 full length works of fiction, three academic books, short stories and poems. He’s won the Aurealis Award 6 times and the A Bertrand Chandler Award for outstanding achievement in 2012. Welcome Richard Harland.

Richard Harland with steampunk guitarHere are my planned interview questions. As usual, they haven’t necessarily all been asked or been asked in this exact order, but I think Richard Harland answered these and more.

Your aspirations to write started young.

You taught courses on fantasy and speculative fiction while you were building up to writing yourself.

You were a late starter, not being published until you were 45.

After starting writing late, you’ve won lots of awards. How has that affected your writing?

When you published your first novel, you had an unbelievable piece of luck.

Edgar Allan Purr terrorises Richard HarlandYou took a leap of faith and left your day job: why?

You’re another author who’s dreamt your story and written it.

You talk about your brain being divided into analytical and creative portions; how does that work for you?

Editing & revisions: what experiences have you had with editing?

How important is the editing process and your relationship with your editor?

Tell me about Steampunk the genre and your Steampunk novels.

Two years ago you were on a panel about Australian steampunk where people said Australia didn’t really have an industrial 19th century. Do you have anything to say to that?

You said it’s necessary to settle into a particular genre. Why?

Your latest novel, Song of the Slums, is about a band. It felt like you were writing what you know – have you been in a band?

Do you have anything to say to people who want to write and have experienced frustration along the way?

You’ve put up a website with free writing tips: what motivated you?

I’m currently doing an assignment on publicity in publishing: what do you do to publicise your books and what does your publisher do?

Dan Allan of Aurealis asks: Maybe you could ask him what his favourite set opener of all time is? Or! What song the Rowdies finish with? Do they have an encore?