Goldfish Grimm: If we could peek into your office (coffee shop, kitchen table, wherever you write), what would your writing process look like?
Iona Sharma: I have a beautiful study with a north-facing window, with an oversized desk with plenty of room for my papers and notebooks, and my books on a shelf above held in place with two carved elephant bookends. Unfortunately, I spend four hours of every weekday commuting, and most of my writing in fact gets done on the 18.14 from King’s Cross.
GFG: Was there anything in particular that inspired “One-Day Listing”?
IS: Not something in particular, but something in general: why aren’t there lawyers in space? I like space opera as much as the next girl, which is to say, a lot, but I do wonder why in the future we only solve our problems with military invasions or covert missions or terraforming and such other grand things. What about the small things? What about the quiet professionals, who go to work every day, and change the world in their own small ways? I do the same job, with some minor differences in degree, as Senchai and Co. do in this story, and I had fun imagining my quiet working life transposed to this very different setting, but with most of the salient features intact.
GFG: You’ve done a lot of world building in this story. Do you have any plans to tell other stories in the same setting?
IS: Perhaps. “One-Day Listing” is a sad little story about some people learning to get along in the aftermath of a disaster; it might be fun to write about these friendships and this universe during happier times, as well.
GFG: Summer is almost here! Is there anything you’re really looking forward to?
IS: I grew up in the north of England, where it’s unwise to look forward to summer. (Summer, here, is not something that happens every year: witness the summer of 2012, during which it rained steadily every day from March to early August. At the time, I had a commute that involved cycling for miles every day. I’m not over it.) But where I grew up, the great thing about summer is the long, long daylight. By mid-June it won’t get dark till 11pm. I can’t wait.
GFG: Do you have anything you’d like to plug or promote?
Iona is a writer, lawyer and linguaphile, and the product of more than one country. Other than speculative fiction, her interests are mostly in politics and land rights. This is her first published story, but her other writing may be found at www.generalist.org.uk/iona, and she tweets as @singlecrow.