REBECCA JANE INTERVIEWS GLENICE WHITTING.
I am delighted to share today this interview of Glenice Whitting by Rebecca Jane, one of my students from Swinburne University.
I had the pleasure of meeting with the lovely Glenice Whitting just the other day, and discussing the upcoming launch for her new novel: Something Missing. We met up at a quiet café in Lilydale, and fell into conversation over her writing history quite casually. I found myself quickly engaged in her stories of inspiration, past achievements and struggles.
Though we were quite different people, with her being a mature-aged student with a PhD who has won awards for her previous works, and me a teenager fresh out of high-school and working on a very first manuscript, it was a very interesting and engaging conversation, and I was surprised in the similarities of our views and motivations.
The conversation revolved around the plans for her upcoming launch and the social media aspect of it, but within this conversation we found ourselves discussing not only the inspiration for Something Missing, but also the changes she had made within her editing process, the real life events that had inspired her to create the novel, and her first manuscript: Pickle to Pie.
Glenice explained to me how the inspiration for Something Missing was taken from a personal story which she had turned into a manuscript, and how such events drove this narrative. She also told me about how it had moved from being a thesis designed for her PhD, broken into three sections each with a different style and narrators voice, to being something designed for Popular Fiction. She told me how she made this change simply because she wanted to tell the story the way she wanted to, without having to dress it up for a thesis, and by changing the layout she was able to write it from the heart and enjoy doing so.
This moved the conversation towards today’s social attitudes, and how there is a story in everything and everyone has something to share. She spoke more of her own personal story – the one that served as an inspiration for her novel – and how not everything is how it seems or is dressed up to be in life. We spoke a little about issues like the hatred towards the Islamic community and how they are only people with a different culture to ours, and how these stories from their point of view not only about their different way of life but the unrequired hatred they seem to be exposed to are interesting and inspirational as they get into the depth of things.
I also found it surprising that Glenice didn’t have writing as her first choice in her studies, instead had it selected as an elective because she had a space to fill for her other studies and found it interesting. This of course led into writing her first novel, Pickle to Pie, and she explained how she never thought her life would be where it is now, but is still enjoying where it is and where it is going, and is glad it went in the direction it did. She also told me how Pickle to Pie was short-listed as an unpublished manuscript in the Victoria Premier Literary Award. It was a fantastic and exciting achievement to happen in Glenice’s writing life. I imagined receiving that short-listing would have been amazing.
My final thoughts as I left the interview was that the weather was nice, the food was great, and I was glad to have spent the day with such a lovely lady who has had so many achievements and events drive her life to bring her to where she is at the moment. I felt excited at the thought of working with her further, and reading her latest novel when it comes out.