PRECIOUS THINGS: ANDREW J McKIERNAN

Andrew J McKiernan is a writer and Illustrator, living and working on the Central Coast of New South Wales. His stories have been everywhere since he first appeared in 2007, the length and breadth of his talent resulting in multiple Aurealis, Ditmar and Australian Shadows Awards nominations, and a metric fucktonne of Year’s Best anthology appearances. He was Art Director for Aurealis Magazine for 8 years and his illustrations are as good as his stories, the talented bastard: you can see a bunch of them over on his website, as well as on covers and internals all over the shop. He even looks natty in a hat, a skill I envy with much greenness of the eyes.

Here then, is he, hat and all:

Precious Things: Andrew J McKiernan

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PRECIOUS THINGS: CLAIRE DAVENHALL

I first met Claire Davenhall several years ago, as an entrant to the annual outdoor sculpture exhibition I coordinate for my day job. Claire made an impression on everyone at the exhibition: partly because she’s quite physically small, and she had a habit of lugging things like 8 foot high, solid steel shark fins up and down the beach, but also because there was a time where she seemed to coincide the exhibition with the birth of her children– giant shark fins are one thing; giant shark fins being lugged about by she-must-be-ready-any-moment pregnant women is a whole different class of funny!

I’ve had the very great pleasure of watching Claire’s art practice grow over the intervening years, and frankly, I’m taking credit: she’s my discovery, and now that she’s exhibiting at things like Sculpture by the Sea and Swell Sculpture Festival on a regular basis, it’s about time I got my finder’s fee…..

You can see Claire’s work on her website. She’s a fantastic talent, a lovely person, and as you’re about to read, a real weepy 🙂

Precious Things: Claire Davenhall

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PRECIOUS THINGS: JAY WATSON

I know I’ve said this about a few people, but Jay Watson is one of the loveliest human beings alive. He’s a giant of a man, tall and broad, and just big, but there’s not an ounce of malice or intimidation in him. Quite the opposite: he’s one of the gentlest, most caring people I’ve ever come across. And while it is often a truism, in this case it’s simply true: there’s not a person you’ll meet who doesn’t adore the man.

A passionate and long-time SF fan, he’s been on more Swancon committees than is healthy, is one of the organisers behind the excellent CrimeScene convention, and is a friend and safe space for anyone who needs it. My first experience of him was sitting at a dinner table, throwing Goon Show lines at each other, and it’s been a long, happy association ever since. Now here he is, in his own words.

 

Precious Things: Jay Watson

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Jay’s on the left.

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PRECIOUS THINGS: COLIN SHARPE

Colin Sharpe is one of those irritatingly handsome men who you can’t hate because he’s also extremely likable and manages to keep the terrifying things he does to kittens a secret. He’s a father, a cyclist, a rock-climber, hockey player, an Inventory Controller and an artist, but not always in that order. He has been involved in many aspects of Perth fandom, in many different roles, and was proudly one of the editors of the superb manga anthology Xuan Xuan.

Here he discusses his passion for comic books, and reveals his Precious Thing as an issue that those of us who were there at the time will recall with the kind of horrified fascination that we had the first time Johnny Depp sucked, or Al Pacino did that weird shouty thing he does, or the first time we saw Rob Liefeld’s work, or heard a Mariah Carey song, or realised Steven Segal was serious……

Precious Things: Colin Sharpe

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PRECIOUS THINGS: AMANDA CURTIN

Amanda Curtin has always been one of those authors I’ve found slightly intimidating, as well as an aspirational benchmark. It seems like she’s been on the stage at every Perth Writers Festival I’ve ever attended, always speaking with an encyclopaedic understanding of the industry; her name is always attached to every study I see produced about the state of WA writing; she appears to be associated with every literary market in WA I can’t get within kilometres of getting published by…. men stand aside as she walks by, women swoon, horses stamp their hooves nervously……

Having finally met her this year, she is, of course, utterly lovely. She still dresses up as a bat and fights crime at night, but gently, with a soft-spoken voice and an interest in how the criminal is getting on. She’s also published two novels, Elemental and The Sinkings, and a short story collection, Inherited. Elemental was shortlisted for the 2014 WA Premier’s Books Awards (Fiction and People’s Choice categories), and in 2016 it was published in the UK and in a new Australia/NZ edition. She has been a freelance book editor for more than 30 years (accredited with the Institute of Professional Editors) and has a PhD in Writing. She’s got a beautifully-written and welcoming website, and is equally approachable on Facebook or Twitter. And she’s here, as erudite and articulate as ever, to talk about her most precious literary possession.

Precious Things: Amanda Curtin

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PRECIOUS THINGS: DANIEL I RUSSELL

Daniel I Russell is a horror author and psychology student who, like myself, travelled from the heartlands of England to the Western Australian countryside. He, however, came from Wigan, so you can understand where the horror and the need for psychological understanding comes from.

With a fine line in sick storytelling, and an equally fine line in sick jokes, he’s one of the few guys around who make me laugh in the way I truly enjoy– heartily, both at the joke and at the discomfort of those who don’t get it.

He’s alive on the web over here, and thanks to the mysteries of techonockery, he’s live in front of your very faces as he delivers his Precious Thing in person! In his full, filmic glory, heeeeeere’s Daniel!

Precious Things: Daniel I Russell

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PRECIOUS THINGS: NORMAN JORGENSEN

Norman Jorgensen is one of the finest fellows in Western Australian writing: welcoming, friendly, open-hearted, and with a well of bonhomie that makes instant fans of anyone who runs across him. On top of all that, he has a fantastic line on rousing books for all ages, including In Flanders Field, Jack’s Island, and the recent The Smuggler’s Curse, that bring a sense of wonder and adventure back into reading.

You can find out all you need to know about Norman at his website. Suffice to say he’s an absolute pal, not least to my son Master 12, who has just the slightest taste of star-worship going on whenever they meet. It’s an absolute pleasure to welcome Norman on board.

Precious Things: Norman Jorgensen.

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