I’m lucky. Over the past few months of being on G+ I’ve met some really great people. Writers, artists, photographers, illustrators, musicians…the list goes on. Eventually, I came to meet Zee Southcombe, a dynamic, enthusiastic and very creative soul who dabbles in other artistic activities besides writing. So, of course, I had to interview her so that others could come to know her too. Her contact links are below; please check them out. But first, I invite you to take a moment, find a comfy spot on the couch, pour yourself some tea and maybe enroll in some ukulele classes (you’ll see why 🙂 ) and get to know Zee Southcombe.
1- Can you start by telling us a little about yourself?
I have watched “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” more times than I would like to count. I like to indulge in a good cup of tea whenever (or wherever) I can. I’m a qualified teacher, and I tutor part-time these days so I get my morning to devote to my writing and writing connections. I’m proud of myself for going through with my goal, and my latest milestone is passing the halfway mark in my first novel http://zeesouthcombe.com/novel.
2- From your web page, it looks as though you are multi-talented! Can you tell us about how you got started in writing, why you gravitate to it, but also about some of your other artistic interests?
Being an author is a dream I had when I was little that I didn’t tell anyone about, until last year or so. My partner convinced me into going for it, and I haven’t looked back since – there’s a lot of reasons why, but the core themes of all my writing are personal freedom, and appreciation for what we have; these are the messages I imbue my readers with.
Other artistic interests? Everything. I paint, I draw and I play the ukulele! I performed at the NZ Ukulele Festival last year, and teach uke as well. I love a creative challenge, and have done a couple of film projects this year – the 48Hour Film Challenge, and Gun Control Theatre Action. I am really excited about teaming up with my partner for some animated short films later this year.
In the end, it comes down to the fact that I start going a bit cuckoo if I don’t get some sort of creative outlet, whatever that may be.
3- What’s it like to see a screenplay you’ve written come to life on film?
I co-wrote and co-produced with Barbara, over at Tales of the Borderline http://talesoftheborderline.com, and we were both pretty excited to see our names in the credits, but there’s a huge amount of teamwork happening between the Writers, Directors and Editors – no one role can really put claim to it.
4- As a reader, what do you think makes a good story? What’s one thing a ‘bad’ book taught you to never do in your own writing?
I love a book that I can get absolutely caught up in and forget about the real world. I need a bit of magic in any book I read, whether it be the fantastical, or the ordinary kind. The most important thing, however, is that I learn something from it that I can apply to my own life; that will help me become a better person. If I get bored, I don’t finish the book – so I need to make sure I don’t write boringly (easier said than done, though).
5- As a writer, what elements do you find are the most crucial to include in your stories? What are your strengths and weaknesses?
All the basics and a bit of humour! My main weakness is that I can get a bit waffly at times, and I try to edit too early. However, these are also strengths as I have a strong and unique ‘storyteller’ voice and I can edit my own work well.
6- Who are your favourite writers and why?
Honestly, I have so many authors whose work I enjoy reading. Roald Dahl, J.R.R. Tolkein, C.S. Lewis, J.K. Rowling, Lemony Snickett, Douglas Adams, Paulo Coehlo, A.A. Milne, Tamora Pierce and the list goes on… literally. They’re magic. They take me somewhere else, they teach me something, they delight me with their words.
7- What other projects are you working on?
I’m working on a short story called “The Train to Nowhere” that may end up being an animated short film as well. That’s all you get to know for now!
8- What do you find is the most difficult aspect of writing and how do you cope with it?
The Voice of Doubt (you know what I’m talking about). I am lucky to have amazingly supportive (and just generally amazing) friends and family. My partner and my sister have been particularly encouraging and I am really grateful for them. The other way I cope with this is by building connections through social media with other writers, and I have recently joined a real, live writing group. It does tend to be quite a lonely occupation as well, and the financials are a bit hard – but that’s just until I become rich and famous 😉
9- What would you want your legacy to the writing world to be?
Freedom and Imagination.
10- How can readers get in to contact with you?
I’m Zee Southcombe on Google+, @Zee_Writer on Twitter, my Facebook page is Zee Southcombe: Writer, and of course my blog is ZeeSouthcombe.com – I post two or three times a week.
Thank you Zee for sharing with us today. It has been an absolute pleasure to get to know you a little more as well as to see where your creative path is taking you. May your light continue to shine, and your legacy of Freedom and Imagination continue to encourage others. Readers, again, please take the time to check out Zee’s work or send her a message.
Have a great week, all!