Interview by Helen Stubbs.
Voracious reader, online reviewer and Aurealis judge, Belle McQuattie has been devouring fantasy for almost as long as she’s been reading. She will forever be thankful for high school English teachers that think Isobelle Carmody and Terry Pratchett are appropriate study texts, spending many years living a couple of blocks away from the library, and the shenanigans found in the HarperVoyager Purple Zone. She can be found on twitter @theresaninkspot, and blogging at http://thereareinkspotsonmypage.com.
What are you up to at the moment?
I’m a little bit all over the place! I’m a judge for Aurealis again this year, so there are a lot of delightful books coming my way at the moment. I’m also volunteering with Melbourne Writer’s Festival this year, and I’m on the committee for next year’s Continuum. And then of course, there’s the blog and day job to keep me occupied.
Tell me about your reviewing and judging the inaugural Sara Douglass award?
It was amazing and overwhelming all at once. 55 series were submitted in total, and some of them were quite long! At one point, I had a stack of boxes that was taller than I was. But, it gave me the chance to read the embarrassingly large selection of books that I had missed in that time period, and revisit some much loved ones. We really have such a deep talent pool in Australia!
What plans do you have for future involvement in the Australian science fiction scene?
I definitely want to stay involved with Aurealis and Continuum for as long as they’ll put up with me, they each do brilliant things for the scene in their own ways, and a more medium term goal is to dip my toes in the editing pool. Plus of course keep reading and reviewing!
What Australian work have you loved recently?
Oh goodness, how long have we got? I’m a huge fan of Mitchell Hogan and Lynette Noni, I’m really enjoying everything they’re doing at the moment. I also read The Rook by Daniel O’Malley earlier this year, and that blew me away. Oh! And Waer by Meg Caddy, Clancy of the Undertow by Christopher Currie and Welcome to Orphancorp by Marlee Jane Ward – all brilliant!
Which author (living or dead) would you most like to sit next to on a long plane trip and why?
Ohhhhh. After hearing Kate Forsyth on panels at Contact this year, I’d like to sit near her while she talks to someome, so I can sneakily eavesdrop and bask in her general loveliness. Or maybe she could read stories to me, that would be very awesome too.