On the Couch with Michaela McGuire

Michaela McGuire Arts Review On the CouchWho is Michaela McGuire?
An author, a co-founder and host of Women of Letters, and Director of the Emerging Writers’ Festival, which runs in Melbourne until 24 June 2016.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
I’d like to find some more time to write, as well as an opportunity to step away from my computer a bit more. I love all my jobs – writing, EWF, Women of Letters – but doing all three, all the time does means I don’t have room for much else.

Who inspires you and why?
The writers who fill my bookshelves. There’s very little money or glory in writing books, and yet people keep writing new stories. It’s a tremendously selfless act to spend a year, or three, or ten, writing something that will be consumed in a matter of hours.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
I’d find a way to fund the arts.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Hydra, Greece. It’s a tiny island with no cars or tall buildings, where Leonard Cohen bought a house for $1500 when he was 26. Time seems to slow down here, and I love that there’s not much to do beyond stretch out in the Aegean and drink red wine in little tavernas. The island is also home to one million cats.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
I usually lead my friends on a meandering food and drinks tour of Melbourne, stopping in at my favourite haunts: Gerald’s Bar, Naked For Satan, Marion, Casa Ciuccio.

What are you currently reading?
Preparation for the Next Life by Atticus Lish.

What are you currently listening to?
The soundtrack to Hamilton.

Happiness is?
Any period of time where I can turn my auto-reply on, disconnect from the internet, and disappear somewhere with a large stack of books.

What does the future hold for you?
I’m currently very busy with EWF, then hopefully very quiet for a few months. I’ve already meticulously planned out my post-Festival rewards, and am looking forward to reading Emma Straub’s Modern Lovers and watching Season 5 of Scandal.

The 2016 Emerging Writers Festival continues until 24 June. For more information, visit: www.emergingwritersfestival.org.au for details.

Image: Michaela McGuire (supplied)