Friday, 26 March 2021

Murder and Machinery: An Interview with Linda Brucesmith

Linda Brucesmith's "#Selfie" is just one of the mad mechanical tales featured in Murder and Machinery. Out April the 3rd. Kindle pre-orders available now.

Tell us three interesting facts about yourself.

I’m an introvert. Is that interesting? I’m not sure. What if I was to say, I’m an introvert, chronically shy, and paralysed by the idea of public speaking? I don’t like the spotlight. Which is why I made a career in journalism and public relations. So I could shine the spotlight on others, and keep it there.

What drew you to this particular theme? 

The double-edged sword that is social media. The fact that Facebook and all the other platforms facilitate such good and such ugliness at a keystroke. Social media brings people together and it pushes them apart. It hurts them and it saves them. I wanted to explore those notions in #Selfie.

What’s the most frightening machine for you personally?

Anything used by the medical profession.

Which short story authors or authors in the horror genre inspire you? 

‘The Monkey’s Paw’, a supernatural short story by W. W. Jacobs (first published in 1902 in England in the collection ‘The Lady of the Barge’) pops up in most good ghost story collections and it scared the pants off me. I read it once - big mistake - at night, and was awake into the small hours, trying to forget it. In the story, Jacobs has three wishes granted to the owner of the monkey’s paw, but the wishes come with an enormous price for interfering with fate. When it comes to atmospheric story-telling, Jacobs is a genius.

Do you have a favourite story about machines, other than The Pit and the Pendulum?

Absolutely. The story of Data, the android in Star Trek. How could anyone not love Data?

What does your editing process look like? 

I edit as I go. How I envy all those who can write a full draft in one pass.

Do you write everything and then edit or do you meticulously plan before you write? 

For me, part of the joy of writing is in having the story come alive in those moments when you’re crossing the street, in the shower, or buying groceries. When suddenly, the next stage in a story comes to you. Those moments make it a living thing. I don’t plan. I dust off structure as part of the editing process.

What are you working on now?

An anthology on Brisbane bookshops!

Where can we find you online?

Thanks, Linda!