Shauna Mackay discusses stories, writing and Marmite #FirstWords

Shauna Mackay discusses stories, writing and Marmite #FirstWords

How does Shauna Mackay start to write new work? What is her inspiration?

SHAUNA MACKAY

Playwright of Nobody Can Never Get Us Back

WHAT INSPIRES YOU?

Reading. Looking at things from angles I like or find curious

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE NOVEL/PLAY?

So many writers have given me joy. I used to buzz off Janet and Johns! I was in love with the word LOOK for a while when I was five. I’d feel bad saying Steppenwolf at fifty-three when I’d have said Jennings and Darbishire at eight, The Old Wives Tale at sixteen. Got to be fair to all the time of my life. And what about writers I still need to find? Or re-read to get? Happy to be a delirious flounderer for now.

HOW DO YOU BEGIN A NEW PIECE OF WRITING?

With a few words and a need to fail. Failure helps see off stultifying expectation and puts me at ease. The words seem to like me better then and let me play.

WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO WRITE ABOUT THE MOST?

Stories want to write themselves. Words are powerful and magic. They like to know you know that. I can only suggest things for characters and situations…risk the knock back.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE SNACK?

Fried egg, runny yolk, on hot buttered Marmite toast, taken with a good cup of tea. Until a couple of years ago it would’ve been fifty pence mix-ups from the corner shop. Teeth-rotting sweets. Want to hang onto my gnashers though!

You can see Shauna's National Octagon Prize winning Nobody Can Never Get Us Back live in our Studio until Sat 8 July 2017.