So, what inspired your piece ‘Grimoire’? Can you tell us a little more about what it’s about?
I had been listening to an interview with the writer Alan Moore. He lamented the lost power of writers and explored the shared language between magic and writing.
Mixing these two ideas gave me the witch character, someone desperate for power, and after a little research into some historical occupations of writers and poets, I had the rest of the story. It’s mostly about misguided ambition and forgetting the kinds of magic that exist in writing.
What are some of your favourite books and art (including shows, videos, music) – of all time or more recently. Why are they favourites?
The Borribles by Michael de Larrabeiti was the first book that made me cry (as it does on every reread). It was also the book that made me want to move to London. My favourite recent read has been James Thurber’s Thirteen Clocks. It is a deliciously dark prose/poem fairytale. A fantastic example of how beautiful well-ordered words can be. And that the best kids books should probably be at least a little scary.
What, if anything, are you looking forward to right now and are there any writing/creative projects you’re currently working on?
I’m currently in the second year of my Creative Writing degree, so I’m wading through a mire of assessments and deadlines. On weekends and very late at night, I chisel away at the first draft of a novel. I just hope I feel like a proper writer when it’s done.
Can you tell us about how you got into writing and art? Is there anyone whose support or encouragement really inspired or motivated you?
I started writing to impress a girl. Looking back, it wasn’t the origin story I would have chosen. I didn’t fall into an industrial vat of ink and find myself forever changed, nor was I bitten by a radioactive letter. Somehow through all the bad love poetry and short stories that didn’t quite work, I ended up wanting to write as a profession.
Nowadays, rather than teenage angst, I find much of my motivation from peers at university. Being surrounded by people all hungrily reading and writing is a great way to spend your time.
Where can people see more of you and your work?
I’m not a social media native, but I am slowly learning the language. For infrequent poems, you can find me on Instagram (esnorthey), and for even less frequent tweets, I’m on Twitter (@esnorthey)
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