“I started writing short stories in New Zealand, where I grew up, and then continued through secondary school in Devon. I wrote my first book when I was 18, a collection of short facts only half of which are true, leaving the reader to guess which are real and which are fake. Since then, I’ve spent the last three years at university in Oxford, where I’ve devoted most of my time to the completion of a sci-fi novel called ‘Earth after Man’. The story takes place centuries after a nuclear war has wiped out the majority of humanity, and begins in a beautiful village known only as the Gleam. Survivors can gain entry to this paradise, but only on one condition. Before joining the society, you must put on a headset that wipes the entirety of your memories and your mind.
A couple of months ago I submitted the first couple of chapters of this book to a London literary agency, the very same organisation that represents JK Rowling. Unbelievably, they liked what they saw, and requested to see the rest of my manuscript! They’re currently looking over it whilst they decide whether or not they’d be willing to represent me in the future.
I’d just love to get the book published so I can write more and more and more, but I realise that idea might be a bit of a pipe dream. At the moment I’m just being patient and realistic whilst I wait to see what the agency decide to do with me. I’ve been keeping distracted with some other creative projects, such as co-writing and acting in an amateur short movie called ‘Sunrise in the Evening.’ It was filmed across a variety of London locations, and will be fully released in February. Anyone interested can see the trailer right here!
At the end of the day, it’s just really important to create. I know our society doesn’t always encourage it, but I don’t think anyone should ever quash their imagination. And hey, if you can find a way to make money off your creativity too? Then in the words of Aunty Donna: haven’t you done well.”
“I’m finding this whole point in my life incredibly bizarre. I’m 21, and everything is suddenly more complex. It never fully occurred to me how blurred so many lines actually are – nothing is as clear cut as I once thought. Friends, relationships, education, work etc. it’s all a lot more messy now I’m older. I’ve gone through situations I never even considered would happen. A lot of staple things are just not there anymore, so in some ways I feel like it’s now up to me to stabalise. Some days this is exciting, but others it’s completely terrifying.
What are you working on?
Following from how I started writing my book, this came about when Hugh provided a random title, for which I then provided a blurb. Hugh messaged to say he enjoyed what I had written, to the point where I thought to myself: why not make it into a story? Hugh had completed his book, one which I’m sure and hope will get the attention it deserves, and mentioned how cathartic writing was.
The freedom to write about concepts I had enjoyed from other writings was odd. It didn’t matter that my writing was potentially completely awful, that the last time I actually wrote anything similar was during GCSEs, I could just explore the ideas I had always wanted to explore. It was, and is, cool to see how things formed, and crazier when I consider that it all came from me. I’ve always enjoyed talking to people who just create things for the love of creating itself; I hate to sound pretentious, but sometimes I think people get too caught up in the idea that the end result has to be significant, or that they’re not good enough sometimes saying they simply “can’t”. I can totally understand that, but it’s a whole other experience they’re missing out on.”
What you want to do / or be / or achieve: Living on my personal work
“Three and a half years ago I arrived in Brussels to showcase my first international solo exhibition. You can imagine how excited I was. If I knew how special that trip would be… Not only was the exhibition a big success, but it led me to meet the person who changed my life, in and out, completely. During a silly tour in Rome, I met my husband. As I get back to Brazil, I sold everything I had, and came here to live with him. Some people thought I was crazy, but I remembered my mother saying “go for it! how many times have you felt like this?”. And it was true. The only passion i felt so strong was towards my work. Life after that had its ups and downs, adjusting to a new country and life is not easy, but i don’t regret a thing. Now the goal is to get my old brazilian life back, but in here, making my living as a illustrator and an artist. I guess you never know, the smallest encounter can change you life. Just have to be a little brave and persist in it, nothing is for free.”