Category Archives: Snapshot

Not-A-Snapshot Interview: Aimée Lindorff


Aimée is a cultural producer, writer, and editor based in Brisbane.  She has a long history of supporting and promoting community arts, working with industrial organisations, community orchestras, and state and national cultural producers – most recently as Public Programs Manager of Queensland Writers Centre (2013-2016), Festival Coordinator of National Young Writers’ Festival (2012-2013) and as part of the Program Advisory Committee of Emerging Writers Festival (2014-2015). Aimée has worked in various capacities with the QWC since 2009, mentoring in creative writing and cultural production. She is passionate about representation, access, innovation, and development of Australian stories.

 In 2014, Aimée was appointed Chair of the Australian National Science Fiction Convention 2016 Organising Committee for the development and delivery of Contact2016.

She is creator of Whispers salon – a quarterly reading event showcasing emerging Queensland writers – and Queensland Script House – a craft and business development program for screenwriters.

She currently reviews fiction for Aurealis Magazine and has appeared at Gold Coast Film Festival, Emerging Writers Festival, Bundaberg WriteFest, Brisbane Writers Festival and Digital Writers’ Festival talking books, publishing, digital futures and Queensland writing.

You ran the Natcon, Contact, in Brisbane earlier this year – what can you tell us about that experience?

So many feels! It was one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences I’ve had in cultural and event development, particularly as we were effectively starting from scratch having not hosted a NatCon in Queensland for 10 years. We were fortunate to have so many talented people generously donate their time and expertise to shaping the event, and I found the NatCon audience to be really supportive of our team. It wasn’t all smooth sailing, but the team did a hell of a job and I am so proud of our group of volunteers. What it did articulate for me was how much the fan community has changed since my first Con in 2009, particularly in Queensland. Each region’s community is vastly different to another, and no two fandoms are the same. There’s a lot going on in pop culture and fandom in Queensland, and it’s a privilege to be able to contribute to that community.

I understand you are finishing up in your role at the Queensland Writers Centre soon. What are some of your biggest takeaways from working there?

I learnt so much working at QWC. Writers Centres operates at the apex of arts, not-for-profit and community sectors, so the work is inherently different every day, the people you meet are so diverse, and you have to be passionate about what you’re doing because it is also one of the most thankless industries. I was fortunate in working with a truly exceptional team of producers, and participated in some incredible projects while I was there.

Some of the biggest takeaways were the relationships and friendships forged as a result, but what I learnt about being an arts practitioner was endlessly valuable.

  • Never stop learning: the best and most successful artists I know are those that continue to challenge their craft and what they know about their artform. This industry is continuously changing and adapting, both in terms of how readers engage, what publishers want, and stylistically, so as an artist you are continually learning, and should be actively seeking new forms, mediums and modes to challenge yourself.
    • The worst thing I’ve seen is writers who believe they have nothing to learn. Whether it’s editing, business models, marketing, public speaking, actively learn new skills. It can only ever help.
  • Every writer’s definition of success is different: I’ve engaged with many writers at different stages of their process and at different levels of understanding. It doesn’t make anyone’s goal less valuable, but talking about writing is really managing artist expectations and translating desired outcomes into a process of actionable steps.
  • Don’t be a dick: if nothing else, this is what I learnt. Everyone engages with their craft differently. Everyone needs different things, but no-one owes you anything. If you cannot be gracious or kind in your interactions with readers, publishers, other writers, hell, the woman who just answered the phone, then none of it matters, because no-one will want to engage with you or help you if you are a dick. So don’t be.
    • Further to don’t be a dick: support yourself. The reality of this industry is it makes unlimited demands of your time, your intellectual property, and of your emotional and creative energy, so pick your battles wisely, be prepared to say no to opportunities or to people if it doesn’t feel right, and don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Can you tell us what are you working on at the moment that we might see in the next year or so?

That’s an interesting prospect! I’m currently working on some smaller projects for production studios, and I’ll be working on some screen projects in the immediate future. Nothing I can talk about publically just yet, but stay tuned!!

I’ve been working with creative collaborator Sophie Overett to redevelop our Lady Parts Podcast and expand into written criticism and events. It’s an exciting time to be discussing representation and access in screen, and we’ll be rolling out some new projects under that banner over the next few months.

I’ve also had a chance to do some of my own writing (shock, horror!) and reengage with my own creative process. It’s been awhile and I have to confess the tools are a bit rusty, but I’m excited to have the time to write!

What Australian work have you loved recently?

Working with so many writers and artists makes this such a hard choice!!

I really enjoyed Daughters of the Storm by Kim Wilkins and am looking forward to reading the second in the series. I’m a big fan of the Kill You Dead Female Character, and Kim writes them so very well. I’m currently reading Orphancorp by Marlee Ward and have heart-eyes everywhere. She writes beautiful prose and such an interesting story. Will keep you posted!

On the art side, I’m ridiculously obsessed with the artwork of Belinda Morris and wish I could wallpaper my house in her current work.

(Due to life circumstances, Aimée couldn’t get her answers back in time for the 2016 Snapshot, but since she gave such interesting ones, I thought I’d share them as a blog interview instead 🙂 )

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Belatedly, my 2016 Snapshot interviews!

Things have been a bit bonkers lately, with a heck of a lot going on at work and home. One of those things earlier in August was the Aust SF Snapshot, a (basically) biannual interview blitz where a bunch of us try to interview as many people in and around the Australian spec fic writing scene as we possibly can in a (basically) two week period. It’s been going for 11 years now, and from its humble beginnings with Ben Peek it now takes a big stack of us to take on a huge number of folk (almost 200 this year!). Loads of fun, but loads of work, too, especially when you’re the silly person who says “yanno, a website would be good…” and queues up all the posts! While still doing interviews too 🙂 Anyway, it was a good few weeks and kind of zapped my brain for any other blogging, but I thought I’d better do my round up before it became completely irrelevant – oh hello September, I see you around that corner there…

So, I undertook the following interviews, and was in return also interviewed by the excellent Alex Pierce (see my ramblings here):

  1. Alex Adsett
  2. Lee Battersby
  3. Lindy Cameron (Clan Destine Press)
  4. Stephen Dedman
  5. Thoraiya Dyer
  6. Richard Harland
  7. Narrelle M Harris
  8. Edwina Harvey
  9. Erica Hayes / Viola Carr
  10. Lian Hearn / Gillian Rubenstein
  11. Andrea K Host
  12. Amie Kaufman
  13. Bren MacDibble
  14. David McDonald
  15. Claire McKenna
  16. Meg McKinlay
  17. Foz Meadows
  18. Garth Nix
  19. Stephen Ormsby (Satalyte Publishing)
  20. Angela Slatter
  21. Cat Sparks
  22. Jo Spurrier
  23. Suzanne J Willis

Also on the new website we have archived every single one of the previous five Snapshot projects, from Ben Peek’s first in 2005 right through to the present day, making one handy dandy repository of Australian SF history all in one spot. And it’s been catalogued at Pandora for posterity, which is awesome!

So there’s lots of other stuff going on, including a pending move interstate and job seeking and all that jazz, but right now I’m focussing on getting a book to print in time for Conflux and looking forward to a few social events with friends in the next month or so, including another quick trip to WA in early October for the WA Premier’s Book Awards ceremony – can’t wait!

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Snapshot 2012 – it’s done!

Well, there might be one or two late interviews to come, but it seems that the 2012 Snapshot is over! It’s been amazing – we completely smashed our previous number of interviews, hitting almost 160 interviews in seven days (but with a MUCH bigger team this time!). The interviewers all did a marvellous job and it was great working with them – David, Jason, Sean, Mondy, Kathryn, Helen, Alex, Tansy and Alisa, woohoo, we did it! 🙂

If you missed any of the interviews over the past week, don’t worry! We’ve rounded them all up in one handy dandy spot over at ASiF! – check them out when you’ve got some reading time.

Thank you to all the fantastic interviewees as well – your thoughtful responses make the Snapshot happen!

And I’m not sure if we’ve said it before but we should – a huge thank you to Kathryn Linge for the awesome Snapshot logo!

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Snapshot 2012: Lezli Robyn

(posted on behalf of Alisa Krasnostein, who is in transit!)

Lezli is an Aussie Lass who loves writing sf, fantasy, horror, humour and even dabbles in steampunk every now and then. She has made over 25 story sales to professional markets around the world, including Asimov’s and Analog, and her first short story collection will be published by TICONDEROGA PRESS in late 2012. Lezli was a finalist for the 2009 AUREALIS AWARD (Aussie) for Best SF Story, the 2010 IGNOTUS AWARD (Spanish) for Best Foreign Short Story, and a 2010 CAMPBELL AWARD NOMINEE for best new writer. In 2011 she won the Best Foreign Translation ICTINEU AWARD (Catalan) for “Soulmates”, a novelette written with Mike Resnick, which was first published in Asimov’s.

1) Your debut short story collection, Bittersuite, is due to be released from Ticonderoga Publications in 2012 – can you tell us a bit about the process of pulling together this book and what we can expect?

This collection is going to be a great representation of what I’m best known for writing: bittersweet stories. Whether writing sf, fantasy, steampunk, horror, or mainstream, I chose the genre to help me tell the best character development story. The setting, content and “voice” often differ vastly from story to story – I have written first person, third person, and in present or past tense – but in all my stories I tend to focus on the emotional resonance between characters, and their personal evolution.

Half of this collection will be made up with previously published stories, including a couple written with Mike Resnick, because I do not see this collection as being a true depiction of my journey thus far as a writer without including some stories that we’ve written together. (I started my writing career after meeting Mike and we wrote our first collaboration.) The collection will also include at least five new stories, all with a bittersweet element or ending. My idea is that by the time Russ and I finish putting together the collection, it will be a kaleidoscope of stories that together both contrast and compliment each other at the same time, showing as many different facets of what I can do as a writer as possible.

2) You’ve made most of your sales to international markets. How do you find Australian markets differ from those offshore? Do markets such as China, Russia or Italy place different emphases or have different interests compared to Australian ones?

I have made most of my sales specifically to the United States, where I started writing and selling with my frequent collaborator, Mike Resnick, and then have sent my stories onward around the world to see which market they resonate the most. All my sales have been short fiction or novelettes, and so most of my analysis of the industry has been in that sphere.

Anthologies are always themed in some way everywhere around the world, but magazines vary dramatically around the world. I have noticed that Australian markets in general prefer darker fantasy stories, or very out-of-the-square sf and horror stories, and I believe our industry is on the cutting edge of unique ideas. In comparison, the US has a lot more markets, but they usually are more specific about the types of stories they will consider each publication. Aussie magazine’s are more likely to mix the genres within one publication, whereas a lot of the US magazines will often only accept one genre.

Clarkesworld is an example of a US market that reminds me the most of Australian small press publications, where the genre or content of their stories can be quite diverse, and they often publish brilliant, somewhat dark, out-of-the-square stories. In contrast Asimov’s typically love sf stories with an emotional resolution, whereas Analog usually prefer sf stories with practical solutions – although that is a broad generalisation, and not always the rule.

I have also noticed that non-english foreign markets (such as Russia, China, Italy, Greece, poland, Spain, Bulgaria, and the Czech Republic) often buy stories that focus on the emotional journey of a lead character, rather than a richly-detailed plot or setting which often can’t translate as well, especially when describe with western-inspired details. I think that since English is the second language of most of the first readers for the magazines, they are more easily able to identify with stories focusing on the character’s emotional journey because no matter where you live in the world, and what nationality we are, like the characters in the stories we all fall in love, suffer loss, evolve relationships, and overcome obstacles that turn into life-changing events. Those type of stories translate well into any language.

3) In your 2010 snapshot, you talked about a novel you were writing. How is that going? Is the process as you expected it would be?

I have two novels in the works at the moment. One of them is the one I was previously discussing in my 2010 snapshot, however since that snapshot was done my life has gone through huge upheavals. Following Aussiecon 4 I was admitted into hospital for multiple lung clots, I moved house, then my beloved Grandma passed away, I flew to America for three months to help my partner through stage four Hodgkin’s lymphoma and it’s brutal chemo treatment, we got engaged, and then I returned to Australia to start the exhausting process of applying for a VISA to move to Ohio while ending up in hospital twice since my return, and working six days a week for a six month period. (Phew!) To say the least, I didn’t have much time to write – if any at all – but I have had an amazing year, with so many highs and lows, and although it as kept me from writing as much as I would have liked to, I am confident my experiences will enrich my writing in the year to come – especially since the lead character of the novel in question is a writer. I have so many new writing quirks and personality nuances to add to my character when she will be writing under pressure, as they say personal experience can add depth to a novel when you put elements of yourself into your stories. The character might not be me, but we will have writing in common.

I realise that what I wrote is not so much an answer to your question, but ask me again next year, and I will be able to give you a much better answer. I’m looking forward to discovering my novel-writing processes.

4) What is next for you?

Along with the 2012 publication of Bittersuite, and the novel that is still waiting on the sidelines, I have a Stellar Guild book with Mike Resnick scheduled to be written at the start of 2013. Our book will be a part of a series of books where a well-known author and their protégée both write a separate piece of fiction set in the very same universe the well-known author has made famous. Four books in the series are almost done, and in various stages of publication, and ours will also be published by Arc Manor Publications in 2013.

I also plan on writing a story with the intention of submitting it to Asimov’s by the end of the year, and I would love to sell a story to another Aussie market after I move to the US and have much more time to write.

Unfortunately, the other projects I have in the works I can’t mention in detail, except to say that I am very excited about them, as I will be creating my own Aussie weird western series of stories, as well as writing more steampunk-set fiction, which I think is an evocative genre that helps to beautifully frame emotive storylines. I have pre-sold two stories to US anthologies, and I have a VERY promising novel proposal that a specific publisher is very interested in too, which would be written in 2013 if we get to contract stage. I have a rule where I don’t mention details about my future projects unless a contract has been signed, or I know the deal is otherwise set in stone, so I can’t tell you more even tho I wish it.

5) Two years on from Aussiecon 4, what do you think are some of the biggest changes to the Australian Spec Fic scene?

The industry is changing so much. It appears that the smaller presses here are getting more and more notice with reviewers and editors in Great Britain and the United States, and Aussie authors are getting mentioned more frequently in Year’s Best anthologies around the world, most notably in the US. However, the mass market publishers appear to be affected by the increase in e-publications, and I’m sure there will be big adjustments regarding the future of mass market paperback sales with the increasing closures of bookstores. I know there are major Aussie authors who are still having frequent mass market publications, and I have heard others discussing the decreasing opportunity to sell novels despite their well-recognised names. I think that could be just due to the current transition period between paperback and e-books, with publishers naturally more reticent while the industry is changing so much.

Overall, I think that the short story sales are definitely on the increase for Aussie’s, with more markets are opening up in the US and UK every year for Aussie’s to expand their sales outside of our part of the world. Aussie publishers like Ticonderoga and Twelfth Planet Press are also doing their part by purchasing even short story collections from Aussie authors than they were in previous years, as well as publishing even more anthologies, although I have noticed there aren’t that many true sf anthologies in production here compared to the US or UK.

It will be very interesting to see the changes to the publishing world by the next Aussiecon. We’re quickly becoming a world where ebooks, and e-readers are quickly replacing printed books. Holographic books, perhaps? Who knows! In the speculative fiction industry anything is possible.

This interview was conducted as part of the 2012 Snapshot of Australian Speculative Fiction. We’ll be blogging interviews from 1 June to 7 June and archiving them at ASif!: Australian SpecFic in Focus. You can read interviews at:

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Snapshot 2012: Nyssa Pascoe

1. Zombies are a passion of yours <> – where does this interest stem from and where do you hope it will lead?

I think it started when my mother died when I was 8. I went through quite a few years reading horror magazines and R L Stine. Then I got into fantasy and really didn’t do any horror for quite some time, but in recent years I’ve been thinking more about why I’m interested in what I am and what roles spec fic plays in society – and it’s very much greater than just cheap escapism that a lot of people claim! I’m sure I won’t find any disagreement here that it is more than that!

Researching the evolution of zombies is so much fun, particularly looking at zombie romance which freaks most people out. I’m working on getting into a Masters of Research next year and turning my zombies into a 20k word thesis. I keep teetering between “Yay 20,000 words!” and “Oh crap, ONLY 20,000 words!”

2. Since the last Snapshot you’ve moved on from fandom in many ways, taking a job with Pan Macmillan for a time (exciting!) and also focussing on study. What difference do you find this makes to your online presence these days?

I tried to keep the fandom online presence (apart from my personal Facebook) more neutral, and when working in publishing, it was even more important to be neutral and try not to get too political (in industry terms). Now I revel in just tweeting random things from comment on politics to talking about favourite recipes. Opinions on ebooks, DRM and parallel important restrictions I still rage on about, particularly as there’s movement in the industry about it, but I can feel free to get more into it.

3. What’s next for Nyssa? Anything you can tell us about?

Although I was more into writing fiction (really quite terrible!) as a teen, and I know for sure that I’m interested in books, I’ve been navigating for years where it is I fit in terms of skills and interests. Pretty much what everyone goes through at some stage!  Right now, I’m very happy where I am. I work for Campus Wellbeing at Macquarie University, and am currently waiting for applications to open for the new Masters of Research that starts next year.

4. What Australian works have you loved recently?

Most recent reads have been older books or academic essays, but I have to buy Jason Fischer’s next Gravesend novella, and both Juliet Marillier and Kate Forsyth’s latest books. I also really loved the Business of Death by Trent Jamieson. New takes on Death interest me, and Death as a corporation is just awesome.

5. Two years on from Aussiecon 4, what do you think are some of the biggest changes to the Australian Spec Fic scene?

I think the scenery is changing quite a bit. The resigning of Stephanie Smith from Voyager/HC was a particular shock. She has helped the Aust spec fic scene for so long and given us such wonderful authors. I do wonder if we’ll be able to recognise a difference in the tastes of the new head, Deonie Ford.

The adaption of ebooks is still in flux in Australia, but the changes have been dramatic. I was just wondering the other day about how my own perceptions have changed and how essential ebooks are now (reading an article on Stephen King’s next book and how he’s not planning an ebook to go with it had me spluttering). They’re still not perfect, and we all have different opinions on how they can be.

This interview was conducted as part of the 2012 Snapshot of Australian Speculative Fiction. We’ll be blogging interviews from 1 June to 7 June and archiving them at ASif!: Australian SpecFic in Focus. You can read interviews at:


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