By Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé
Let’s get down to brass tacks. Why do you write?
To wrestle control of my life back from myself. Also, for the occasional revenge.
Tell us about your most recent book or writing project. What were you trying to say or achieve with it?
I am currently working on my most recent project, and it is still under wraps! Sorry – I am a little superstitious about these things. I can give you a few key words though: Orphans, nuns, tigers and lesbians. I am probably making it sound more interesting than it actually is?!
Describe your writing aesthetic.
A love of good line breaks. A series of semi-colons. More page than performance.
Who are your favorite authors?
Jeanette Winterson, Cyril Wong and Stephen King.
What’s the most challenging piece of writing you’ve attempted? Tell us why.
Last year, I finished a manuscript called And The Walls Come Crumbling Down. It was a literary memoir that brought very difficult elements of my life together in one sustained piece. The consistent process of needing to connect with the pain of the past in order to remember, and then disconnect from it in order to write, really took a toll on me.
What’s your idea of bliss?
No longer needing food, water or money, I spend the rest of my life alone in a cottage on a temperate island populated only by dogs, cats, bunnies, wombats and sloths.
What makes you angry, and I mean all-out-smash-the-china raving mad?
Bigotry, inequality and unjust law. Also, the way the word “revert” is constantly misused.
What book/s would you take with you on a three-month retreat in the boondocks?
The Passion by Jeanette Winterson, The Stone Gods, also by Winterson, Like A Seed With Its Singular Purpose by Cyril Wong, IT by Stephen King, The Poetics of Space by Gaston Bachelard and Bang! by Henry Rollins.
Your house is burning down. What’s the most important thing you’d want to take with you?
Living creatures aside, my laptop.
Describe your life philosophy. In a sentence.
Attempts at authenticity.
Tania De Rozario is an artist and writer whose work has been showcased in Singapore, London, San Francisco, Amsterdam, New York and Spain. She is the author of Tender Delirium (Math Paper Press), which was shortlisted for the 2014 Singapore Literature Prize, and winner of the 2011 SPH-NAC Golden Point Award for English Poetry. She runs EtiquetteSG, a platform focused on developing and showcasing art, writing, film and music made by women.