W I T H M I C H E L E H E N N I N G H A M
‘What you’re doing isn’t about self-expression, it’s about obtaining dominion over the reader, about obtaining power on the page.’
– Gordon Lish
Good afternoon, I’m Quain and today I’m here interviewing published author and screenwriter, Michele Henningham. She writes great books filled with the perils of the human condition. Although one of her stories won a prestigious competition, Miss Henningham prefers to fly under the radar. But she does have a warped sense of humour that will leave you in fits of giggles! If you haven’t read anything by her yet, you’ve really missed out! I’m really honoured to interview you, Michele Henningham.
1. How did it feel to actually win a competition?
A. The validation felt great! Especially as it was playwright, author and critic, Bonnie Greer OBE who selected my story. Funnily enough, a year prior, I told a friend I’d meet her someday. Little did I know…
2. Oh, a bit psychic, are we?
A. Yes, sometimes I’ve got those skills, too…
3. So, what is your star sign?
A. I’m Pisces… with Scorpio rising…
4. Where were you born?
A. Huddersfield, Yorkshire… my parents are from Jamaica.
5. What are some of your favourite hobbies?
A. I love reading, music – love lots of different genres but rare groove in particular. I gym 3-4 times a week, if not more. Determined to get that 10-pack down! Oh, I’ve got a thing about 8-ball Pool! I’m quite a good hustler!!
6. You mentioned reading. Who are some of your favourite authors?
A. It started in primary school with the wonderful Rosa Guy, then I found some Jackie Collins – The Stud etc. A bit later, I came across Stephen King and read e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g! That took me into James Herbert, Dean Koontz et al. I got into Toni Morrison, Terry McMillan, Iceberg Slim, Alice Walker, Zora Neale Hurston, Ralph Ellison, Richard Wright, Chinua Achebe, E. Lynn Harris, Marsha Hunt, Tobias Woolf, Doris Lessing and Charles Bukowski – just to name few! This’ll be followed up in a later post!
7. So what is your earliest memory of writing?
A. I typed this poem about daffodils when I was 8 years old. Don’t know if that counts. What do you think?
8. Typed, eh?
A. Yes, a one finger plink, plink, plink with black ribbon and all that jazz!
9. What makes you think you can write?
A. Well, reading others and lots of practise over the years. Also, relentless studying.
10. How long have you been writing stories?
A. Mmmm, for over 20 years now.
11. Have you done courses?
A. Yes, in the past and various workshops around London.
12. What was the first story you aired in public?
13. How did you feel about it?
A. It’s ultra-risqué, but I read it at workshops in the UK and at Skyros in Greece. It was real quiet afterwards!!
14. Why so? What is it about?
A. That’d be telling! I can’t give it away! You’ll have to read it to find out…
15. Why do people like to read Michele Henningham’s stories?
A. They like them because they see, hear and feel everything that’s going on.
16. Where would I find the scariest passages in Michele Henningham’s stories?
A. Mmmm, it’s hard to say because scary is quite subjective, but I’d say they’re in a few.
17. Can you name one?
A. Soulless, Strawberry Sunset, Iron Dread, The Great Rocco, Yellowest Orange, Venus, Blackballed, The Chamber, Needles, Only 20, Law of Moses, Red Mountain, Insane Reality, Bait ‘n’ Switch, Patch, Twisted etc.
End of Part 1 of the interview.