Space on the Bookshelves: An Interview with JKS Alumn and Adjunct Faculty Andrew Wille


From tenpenny dreams:

Book doctor Andrew Wille works with writers editing manuscripts, teaching workshops and mentoring. His goal is to help writers create the books they want to write. He also blogs and you can find him on Twitter @andrewwille.

Amy Lord: As well as being a book doctor, you also write fiction and have published a number of short stories. Which writers have been your biggest influence in this genre?

Andrew Wille: Angela Carter. Annie Proulx. Ray Bradbury. Ursula Le Guin. Alice Munro. Christopher Fowler. Sherman Alexie. Gustave Flaubert.

I must mention a very brilliant teacher from Naropa called Bobbie Louise Hawkins. She’s from Texas, originally, and in her own words she’s ‘a talker’, Her insistence on writers trusting their natural speaking voices in their writing has been profoundly important to me. She is a spellbinding storyteller and prose stylist, and though it is no longer fashionable to describe writers this way she is also a great social realist – really observing the magic and humour of ordinary lives with great clarity. She’s also a wonderful gossip, and places gossip at the heart of much good writing. She really should be more widely read.

Even though I don’t write poetry, it’s been inspirational to hang out with so many poets at Naropa; they care about every word they write, and they also write for love rather than money.

Some of the greatest inspirations, though, are unpublished writers I work with. Their enthusiasm can be infectious, and their discipline and ambition remind me I really ought to make more time for my own writing.


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