The writer’s persona in the narrative, MFA courses and Englishness – interview at Rain Taxi

How much should a writer’s personality show in a book? Some authors keep themselves out of the narrative voice, even in a personal book such as a memoir. Others colour every page with their sensibilities and personality, even if they’re writing fiction. This is just one of the questions I’m discussing today in the literary magazine Rain Taxi.

You might recognise my interviewer – Garry Craig Powell, who has been a guest on The Undercover Soundtrack (he put Phil Collins songs to unforgettable and cheeky use). Garry has also taught creative writing at university level, so that’s another discussion we have – are these courses useful, necessary, a hindrance, something else? What about journalism – when is that a good start for a fiction author?

And then there’s Englishness. What is that? Well, it could be a quality of restraint – when saying less means more. It might also be a sense of Elysian yearning for an emblematically romantic world, including the tradition of stories about remarkable houses. We’re trying to thrash it out. Do come over, and bring tea.


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  1. #1 by acflory on January 28, 2018 - 1:02 am

    Are comments closed over there deliberately, or an accident perhaps?

    • #2 by acflory on January 28, 2018 - 1:04 am

      woops! I meant to add that old places can be comforting because of their continuity, and the sense of /permanence/ the give. I always feel safe in an old house. Protected somehow.

    • #3 by Roz Morris @Roz_Morris on January 28, 2018 - 10:26 am

      Hi Andrea! I didn’t know they’d closed comments, but I’m happy to have yours here! And that’s a nice thought about old houses. I hadn’t considered it.

  2. #5 by J Rose on January 30, 2018 - 9:32 am

    I enjoyed reading this interview. Particularly what you say, Roz, about teaching and being taught ‘writing’:

    ‘Neither of these qualities can be taught. You’re either wired for them or you’re not. But each one of us, no matter how naturally gifted we are, has blind spots, so we need development and work.’

    So true, I think.

  3. #7 by Alexander M Zoltai on June 2, 2018 - 4:50 am

    Reblogged this on Notes from An Alien and commented:
    Do check out this re-blog from Roz Morris…

  1. Writing Links…1/29/18 – Where Genres Collide
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