October 19, 2021

KITAAB

Connecting Asian writers with global readers

Lounge Interview with author Andrew Innes

3 min read

Team Kitaab is in conversation with author Andrew Innes whose work is going to be a part of TBASS 2021 Anthology.

Andrew Innes is originally from England and came to the castle city of Himeji, Japan, in 2002, where he now works at three universities teaching communication and writing and edits the online journal The Font.

His research includes how to reduce transactional distance when teaching online and whether teachers can detect if students have used online translation in their work. His work has been featured in Tokyo Weekender. His debut book The Short Story Collective will be out towards the end of 2021. 

His story is going to be a part of the soon-to-release TBASS 2021 anthology (Kitaab, 2021).


  1. Let’s get down to brass tacks. Why do you write?

First of all, university holidays are long. Combine that with almost two years of a high percentage of online classes, and it adds up to a lot of free time where I wanted to be doing something that engages me and not watching Netflix. Without wanting to sound all philosophical, writing allows the rest of the world to disappear and hours to slip by.

It gives you the chance to create an entire world and put it into the mind of your reader. The only rules you have to abide by are that the world needs to be interesting, coherent, and convincing enough that it becomes real within the reader’s mind for that period of time where you have them. 

  1. Share a bit about your writing journey so far. How did you start? Any roadblocks? Who were your strongest supporters? Any tips to share with aspiring writers who are just beginning their journey or are about to begin it?

I’d started to get bored with consuming rather than creating. A friend and colleague introduced me to a journal called The Font that publishes essays, stories, and poems on the subject of teaching, and I decided to write and send them a story. The story was accepted, I’ve since written several pieces for them, and was actually invited to take over as the new editor there just recently.

In terms of tips for writers who are just beginning their journey, my main advice would be to take note of ideas as soon as they come to you so that you can use them later, even if it’s just a single word. Regarding roadblocks, I did completely rewrite the story When in Rome after my editor had a bit of trouble understanding the Mancunian (from Manchester) way of speaking of the original main characters.

I think she used the phrase `completely obnoxious` or something similar to describe what became the new character, Hogan, which was exactly what I was trying to achieve. His full name, which isn’t in the story, is actually Hogan Saul. Although fictional, make of that what you will if you are familiar with YouTubers who have come to Japan and epitomize the theme of the story: Tourist Pollution!

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