Paul Blaney is a fiction writer and occasional poet. Born in Essex, he studied Classics as an undergraduate and now teaches writing at Rutgers University in New Jersey. He has two cats, Pushkin and Frida.
Paul writes fiction, poetry and non-fiction. His short stories have appeared in print and online, and have won several awards: his first prize, presented by Elizabeth Beresford, was for a Wombles pastiche, and other prizes have followed at lengthy intervals. His longer works include the novels Mr Spoonface and The Jardin des Animaux alongside several novellas. He recently finished Beefy’s Burden, a comic novel about bullying, Catholic guilt and the mysterious workings of the Holy Spirit.
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 for a long walk with Dickens or Turganev
Q: Do you have a favourite quote? (From a book, film, song, speech…)
A: ‘The difference between who you are and who you want to be is what you do.’ — Bill Phillips.
Q: Is there a book that you keep going back to, and if so, how many times have you read it?
A: The Wind in the Willows always makes me laugh, and Winnie the Pooh is a font of wisdom
Q: Do you have a lucky writing talisman? If so, what is it?
A: I like to keep shiny, dark stones on my desk.
Q: If you could teleport yourself anywhere, real or fictional, where would it be and why?
A: The South of France, for lunch.
No bridge spans that boatless river, known to one side as the Reka, to the other the Wassel. No tunnel links the two − not twin! − cities. No flights crisscross their skies. Each, professing itself separate and sufficient, has turned its backside on the other. Ramparts reinforce the riverbanks. At one time, the two …
Something on which we have always prided ourselves is our broad appeal. A Certain Regard draws submissions from all regions of the country, from villages and market towns as well as cities. Back when all this happened, we only accepted physical submissions, and only one per poet per issue, but in recent years we’d even …
Once there was a woman who sat in the street and watched her house burn down. Dancing against a starless sky, the flames made her think of candles in church, for this woman was a Christian sort of woman. The dark smoke rising from those candles seemed to carry her prayers up to Heaven. For …