2020 Snapshot: Helen Stubbs

Helen Stubbs is a Queensland-based award winning fiction and feature writer, with stories published in anthologies and magazines, including Kaleidotrope, Apex Magazine, Midnight Echo and Winds of Change. She’s a creative producer at Razor Gaze and interviews speculative fiction writers for the podcast Galactic Chat. She’s worked in journalism/PR, editing and accounting. For fun she likes to bushwalk, mountain bike, climb rocks and devour Netflix series. Catch up with her at @superleni on Twitter, or check out her work at helenstubbs.wordpress.com and razorgaze.art.

1. Tell us about your recent publications/projects?

Recently I’ve been working on a few things. The main fiction work is a novel called Tallebudgera. It’s mostly a real-life drama about a carer struggling to look after her disabled child while sabotaged by her ex-husband, but there are elements of magic realism and horror, to keep life interesting. I’m searching for agents and publishers for this novel, so if anyone is interested, hit me up.
I’m super excited about my current project, with photographer Lana Noir, through our collaborative creative production team, Razor Gaze. We’re building a dramatic immersive audio and photographic noir experience called Beauty Regime, exploring beauty, mimicry, self-comparison and self-doubt … it’s really fun dissecting those tender places. We’re intrigued by influencer culture, the importance of image, and the tension between what we see and what we are; what people do for beauty, and why. Building the culture and story of the Beauty Regime has been really fun, it’s a scary but captivating place … a little bit Orwellian and Kafka-esque.
I’ve also been writing some horror shorts stories. My latest publication was “Polymer Island” in Kaleidotrope. On the community side, I’ve been doing some audio interviews for the Galactic Chat podcast, interviewing Claire McKenna, Aiki Flinthart and Lisa Cassidy about they latest novels.

2. What has been the best publishing or SF community experience of your career so far?

Golly that’s a hard one. I’ve had so much fun in, and support from, the Australian SF community. I’ve loved working with small presses like CSFG and Ticonderoga. Getting to know other writers, illustrators, editors, and publishers, and to see their careers grow, is wonderful. Hearing other writers say they’ve enjoyed your work is great, too. Probably the best part is making brilliant friends. Hanging out with talented people is inspiring, and I feel grateful to be a part of that community.
3. Which recent Australian/NZ work would you recommend to international fans interested in expanding their Antipodean spec fic knowledge? 
I really enjoyed Blackbirds Sing by Aiki Flinthart, Monstrous Heart by Claire McKenna, Darkskull Hall by Lisa Cassidy and The Beast’s Heart by Leife Shallcross. All very different books. I’ve also been enjoying the latest issue of Midnight Echo, Things Are Not As They Seem.

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