Edwina Harvey is a writer and editor who is about to hang an “editor for hire” shingle on her e-mail door in the hope of attracting clients. Edwina combined an interest in spec fic and dolphins and whales to write a short story that got an Honorary mention in the Mary Grant Bruce Awards, and later grew into the YA SF novel, The Whale’s Tale, published in 2009. She has recently co-edited the anthology, Light Touch Paper – Stand Clear with Simon Petrie. Edwina is also a silk and ceramic artist. You can view her work at www.celestialcobbler.com
1. I know you have co-edited an anthology with Simon Petrie, for Peggy Bright Books. What can you tell us about the collection? Is creating an anthology different from editing for a magazine?
We’re really proud to be co-editors of Light Touch Paper, Stand Clear, the new spec fic anthology from Peggy Bright Books. We approached a number of authors we like and respect about submitting to the anthology and were both blown away by the high quality and diversity of stories we received from our contributors. We’re sure readers will really enjoy the anthology.
Simon Petrie and I discovered we enjoyed working together when I sub-edited his first issue of ASIM.
Working on the anthology felt very much like we were creating a book rather than an issue of a magazine. There was no sampling stories from a slushpool, the way there is when you’re editing an issue of ASIM for one thing, and while she trusted us, we were responsible to Liz Bright at Peggy Bright Books for the fininshed product. Fortunately, she’s as excited by Light Touch Paper – Stand Clear as we are.,
2. Andromeda Spaceways turns TEN this year, and you’ll be celebrating this fantastic milestone at Continuum in Melbourne very soon. You were a founding member of the magazine – what changes have you seen over the past ten years?
Better to ask what’s stayed the same.. We still have mad rushes to get the issues out on time. While the people have come and gone, there’s always been a groundswell of ASIM crew who get stuck in to get the job done. As for changes – well, we “slowed down” a bit after issue 50, publishing four issues a year instead of six, but we upped our page count per issue so we still publish the same amount of words. We’ve recently redefined ourselves as an association rather than a co-operative, and our newest recruit, Nellie, stated in her application to join us that she had “grown up reading ASIM” – and she had too! She’d started reading Andromeda Spaceways as a 16 year old! It made the remaining original co-op members feel *very* old all of a sudden.
3. What’s next for you on the writing front? Are there more books in the pipeline?
I’m a few weeks off getting my editor qualifications, and have had an article on mammoth donkeys published in Grass Roots magazine in recent months, as well as a short story published in ASIM 54, but I’m itching to get cracking on writing another YA novel. I’d also like to start writing a sequel to The Whale’s Tale some time soon.
4. What Australian works have you loved recently?
Sue Bursztynski’s YA fantasy novel, Wolfborn, Jo Anderton’s fantastic debut novel, Debris, and Paul Collins’ exciting YA SF-thriller, Mole Hunt.
5. Two years on from Aussiecon 4, what do you think are some of the biggest changes to the Australian Spec Fic scene?
That’s a good question! Previously, about 2 years after an Aussiecon, I’d expect to see a spike in new and emerging Aus Spec Fic. Andromeda Spaceways emerged in 2001 – two years after Aussiecon 3 in 1999. Maybe I’m not so observant these days? But I do notice far more stability in the local spec-fic scene. Magazines, small presses, authors appear and they’re hanging around these days, where once they would have fallen off the radar. It’s gratifying, and while it’s been said before, I take this as a sign that maybe Australian spec-fic has finally come of age. We can – and do – hold our own. I think we should be proud.