I don’t want all the writers in the ‘Five Sentences’ series to be well-known, because hopefully some – like Sam Russell – will be ones you will be hearing a lot more about in the future.
I’m going to let Sam introduce herself, because I like what she says…
I’m a writer swirling into my thirties like the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies will swirl into one another in the next 30 billion years. I live openly with fibromyalgia and collect mental health problems which I hope to turn into a necklace soon.
I graduated from Kent Uni in 2011 with an MA Creative Writing and have since been slowly working on writing my first novel which was started on the degree. I’m currently rekindling my relationship with poetry and am learning how to write short stories. I’ve have had an article on ‘Characters’ published in issue 7 of Inkspill Magazine. I’m aiming to get more work out there in the future.
And here are Sam’s five sentences:
When you were small, you wanted to …Be someone’s best friend. I came close on a few occasions though it went sour after a while. I don’t know why. I guess they found a new best friend who was better than me. I think if I translate that desire into my adult life, it would equate to wanting to be someone’s forever.
The one thing you can never resist is … Books. My Dad used to be a Lithographer (that’s posh for book printer) and he’d sometimes bring me home duff copies that wouldn’t make it past quality control. My obsession has grown over the years, deepened too. I love their form and texture, their bindings and the feel of their papers; their smell, new or old, is addictive and I have been known to lick the spines of books. Naturally this limits my access to libraries and bookstores. I save burying my face between the pages and inhaling deeply for when I’m on my own. And then maybe I’ll take it to the next level…
You may not say it aloud but…I have no idea what I’m doing. I say it sometimes and people laugh it off but really, I’m clueless. Writing a novel when you don’t know what you’re doing, when you’re winging it, is scary because people expect you to be in the know and intelligent. I dread the day I finish my novel and maybe get it published. I’ll have to do what politicians do: pre-approve questions and create stock answers if people want to ask me things.
The last time you went ‘WOOP’ with excitement was … When I found out I got a Distinction on my MA Creative Writing. I worked so hard to out-perform myself and get the thing I was unlikely to get because my first set of results weren’t enough to give me that final recognition. That and I live with rubbish health. The odds were against me.
Your five favourite words are ….
1. Beautiful. The letters are arranged in the most aesthetically pleasing way for me
2. Namaste. When you say this to someone, you are recognising their soul and your own as being equal and in harmony.
3. Differànce. I have a bit of a Derrida addiction and this word is both challenging and funny. My favourite joke is ‘spot the differànce’. If you know anything about Derrida’s essay on this word, you’ll get it. I even have it printed on a t-shirt. The irony (lol, shirt … Iron).
4. Naturally. For an adverb (the bane of all writing), this one is pretty smooth. I like rounding off the occasional sentence with it because it’s just so … Cool. Sometimes. Like all adverbs, it should be used in the right place at the right time.
5. You’ll have to forgive me for this last one but it’s the ‘C’ word. I love it. Used properly with impeccable pronunciation, it’s one of the few words in the English language that can disable everything around it. And what’s more, the etymology is fascinating; cropping up around 1230, avoided in public from 15th century and considered utterly vulgar since the 17th century. But it is a powerful word to describe the remarkable and unashamedly beautiful part of a woman’s body.
My favourite place in Kent has to be the deserted side of the Medway Estuary, opposite Gillingham. It’s full of wildlife, wild flowers and nice people walking their dogs. It’s the one place, when I’m feeling well enough, I can go and be absolutely alone, which is important to me.
Favourite Kent Writer? Scarlett Thomas, hands down. The End of Mr. Y is what made me take writing seriously, got me onto the MA and made me stay on it. I was tutored by my literary heroine. How many people can say that?
Thanks Sam! And as your present for coming on here, please find below a photograph of Derrida’s books..