J. Cavanagh is a short fiction writer with an interest in place, isolation and the uncanny. She was a full-time teacher for many years and has worked in schools in Liverpool, London and Guernsey. In 2014, she decided to return to education herself, graduating two years later from the MA Writer/Teacher programme at Goldsmiths, University of London. She went on to undertake a PhD in Creative Writing at Liverpool John Moores University, exploring the impact of different writing spaces on what is written within them. The first half of her thesis is a collection of short stories. One of these stories is ‘Office Space’.
She has been writing poems, stories and plays for as long as she can remember. She wrote a novel when she was ten (now languishing somewhere in her parents’ loft) and had a poem published in a national newspaper when she was eleven, but has only recently gained the confidence to start submitting her short stories to journals. Her flash fiction ‘Next Time’ was part of the performance piece ‘Above Us Only Stars’ for the European Week of Astronomy & Space Science 2018, and her story ‘Time Out’ will be published in the February 2021 issue of Lakeview International Journal of Literature and Arts.
Q: If you could travel back in time, which of the great writers would you like to meet and why?
A: I’d like to go back in time to meet F. Scott Fitzgerald. More specifically, I’d like to meet him in the 1920s, in Paris, in Shakespeare & Company, along with Gertrude Stein, James Joyce and whoever else might pop in. Those writers, that time and that city, would be just beautiful, fascinating and fun (and probably quite exhausting!).
Q: What is the least interesting part of writing for you?
A: I hate planning. It’s one of those things, like ironing, that we’re told we should do, but no one seems to notice when we don’t.
Q: If you could teleport yourself anywhere, real or fictional, where would it be and why?
A: At the point of writing this (January 2021), it would be rather nice to teleport to anywhere sunny, warm and post-pandemic, and for long enough to still enjoy that after quarantining myself.
Q: What is the first book you remember reading or having read to you as a child?
A: One of the first books I remember reading was Roald Dahl’s The Twits. I remain suspicious of spaghetti.
Amanda caught the first tube into work every morning. It was sometimes hard getting up in the dark and not seeing sunlight until lunchtime, but the alternative was unthinkable. There was only ever a handful of other people on the platform. The regular five. A nightshift-dishevelled man, resigned to missing the day again, a tracksuited …