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Member Spotlights

Member Spotlight: Finola Austin

Why is writing important to you and why do you think it’s an important medium for the world?
Fiction can do something that film cannot. It gives us the ability to inhabit someone else’s brain, and see the world through someone else’s eyes. The world needs more empathy and reading makes us more empathetic and more receptive to ideas that aren’t our own.

What are your tried and tested remedies to cure writer’s block?
Consume other art! Read. Go to a gallery. Get last minute tickets to…anything. There’s nothing that inspires me more than seeing other people expressing their creativity.

What is your favorite time to write?
I have a demanding day job so have to write whenever that’s possible—early in the morning, late at night, over the weekends. But my favorite place to write is on planes—no internet, people bringing you drinks, a seat that’s hard to leave. What could be better?

What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received and would like to impart to other writers?
Listen to your writing as you revise. I use the robotic computer voice. It helps me catch unintentionally repeated words and missing commas, but it also helps me feel the rhythm of my writing, which is so important for pulling readers through your story.

What excites you most about being a writer in today’s age?
The ability to connect with readers everywhere thanks to the power of technology. If you have a book club that would love to discuss Bronte’s Mistress, let me know! I’d love to join you virtually for a Q&A.

Finola Austin’s Bronte’s Mistress is out with Atria Books.