All the questions

As someone who regularly has to think about what questions to ask an interview subject I’ve often wondered how those questions appear to the subject themselves. Sometimes when a writer hands in a story I’ve comissioned, I’ll find myself trying to work out what questions they asked from the story they’ve handed in. I know, its almost impossible to do so, but still find myself quizzing over it. Email interviews are the worst, your questions are there, set in stone so to speak, and evoke often very different reactions than if the same questions had been part of a conversation.

So, its a novel experience to be on the receiving end. When I was contacted by A City with Quirk for an interview I thought it might be a bit of fun. The questions that were sent to me, from writer Mark Lawrence, showed someone had done their research, enough so that I felt compelled to put a bit more effort into my responses. What I really enjoyed about it was coming away from the experience feeling that I’d discovered something new! Great questions can force you to consider connections, in this case, between different areas of work, in a way that you haven’t before. I think as an interviewer you’d have to be pretty happy with that!

If you’d like to read the interview you can do so here.

Melbourne Writers Festival 2013

MWF 2013

Melbourne Writers Festival 2013One of the things I love about Twitter is the people you meet. Literally.

Lisa Dempster is someone I started following early on, we seemed to have a bit in common, she obviously liked to ride and do things with words. Shortly after I first ‘met’ her online she became Director of the Emerging Writer’s Festival and not long after that, I became Editor of Treadlie magazine. It was only natural that I ask her to write for us. Having her as a regular contributor to Treadlie meant we always had a reason to make time to catch up, something that can be hard to do when you’re both busy. I’ll never forget her setting off on my old blue rattler, a single-speed Malvern Star, when she borrowed it for one of her writing events. She normally rode an Avanti road bike and was used to something much more supple on wheels!

Alas, Lisa doesn’t have time to write for Treadlie any more. She’s gone on to become Director of the Melbourne Writer’s Festival and last night at the MWF 2013 launch, delivered her first programme. Its a brilliant programme! Eclectic and inspiring it manages to fulfil the cliche something for everyone, but in the most inspired way! I’ve already booked a couple of keynotes, some of the kid’s events and Boris and Annabel’s session. My only complaint is that most of the Bike Snob NYC events are scheduled for the very weekend that I will, ironically, be flying to NYC. Its not  a complaint thats going to get much sympathy but what are the chances?

Its amazing the people you meet on Twitter isn’t it? The MWF 2013 programme is officially open today and you can book online if you’re interested or indeed from the very handy app they’ve developed too.

another flaming cyclist

Its Ride2school day. The Flipster’s school recorded 39% of kids riding back in February and another 30% walking but what the hell, any excuse for a party. Bikes were to be decorated and my brief from the Flipster was “flames”. I suspect he was hoping for flame stickers from the local $2 shop but I needed therapy and he ended up with this crepe and cellophane creation. I may have overdone it.

He muttered something along the lines of not being sure but bravely leapt on-board and set off for school, bound for either adulation or ridicule from the boys. I hope its not too bad for him. Another flaming cyclist