LISP 2nd Half 2021 Short Story Finalist "And This Is Now" by Wendy Buonaventura
- Can you please tell us about you?
I grew up wanting to be a writer, but only started in my late twenties, when I was teaching dance and was inspired by Egyptian dance to write a non-fiction book about it. This book, Serpent of the Nile, was later chosen as one of the Observer Books of the Year and was translated into various languages. This resulted in my teaching and performing in many countries. I went on to create theatre work using dance and text with themes based on my written work. My recent piece, a cabaret using text from my book Dark Venus, looks at the idea of the femme fatale.
My books, theatre work and performance extracts can be found on my website:
- What inspires you to write?
I am often inspired to write by myths about the cultural and historical lives of women, especially in the arts.
- How does it feel to have your work recognised?
To have my work published, or to appear on a finalists list is wonderfully energising. And when I receive messages from those who have gained something from my books it is the best reward of all. To have touched people through words on a page is more enriching than the limited monetary gain which many writers receive!
- How did you come up with the idea for your LISP selected story? Is there a story behind your story? And, how long have you been working on it?
My story AND THIS IS NOW is based on a famous Egyptian dancer I was privileged to see perform in London, at a time when the Arab clubs catered to clients of great wealth from Saudi Arabia and the Gulf. I originally wrote the story many years ago, and ever since then I’ve been going back to it, tinkering with it until I finally thought, I can’t really improve on it any more. I have to send it out.
One of the most challenging things I find about writing any short story is to avoid being obvious, especially in communicating its underlying premise. I try and remember, when reworking a piece: ‘When in doubt, cut it out’.
- Lastly, do you recommend the writers give a go on LISP?
I’d certainly recommend writers to send their work to LISP. As writers we all know about rejection. But when our work is chosen, it really lifts the spirit!