Awkward Press

Independent publishers of imaginative fiction and daily meditations on the ridiculousness of the universe.

Meet the Awkward Two Writers: Heather Clitheroe

August 05, 2010 By: Category: Meet the Writers

Awkward Two, a collection of 33 micro-short stories by 25 incredible writers, will be released to the public on September 27, 2010. (You can pre-order it right here.) Who are these incredible writers? Let’s meet ‘em! We sent the same 9 questions to all the writers. Here are their answers.

Heather Clitheroe

Heather Clitheroe is the best. She stumbled upon us via Twitter over a year ago and wrote to see if we were taking submissions. I told her about the Awkward Two project coming up and she said she had just the thing. The thing that she had was “An Open Letter to Our Valued Clients,” and it was absolutely hilarious. It was the first story we picked, and it is the opening story in the book. Throughout this whole, long process, Heather has been incredibly supportive, and really, just a joy to work with all around. If you’re looking for a fiction writer with guts, wit, and the courage to live in a country full of healthcare-loving moose-eaters*, then look no further: Heather’s your gal!

To find out more about Heather, visit her illuminating blog: She is also a writer in residence at the prestigious Banff Centre for the Arts: I am jealous. That place looks amazing.

* With apologies to the great country of Canada. I do not know if you are all moose-eaters. But you sure do love ensuring that all of your citizens have access to quality healthcare! Hahaha FREAKS!

The Interview Portion

1) Who are you and why are you here?
I’m Heather – frequently of Calgary, and sometimes of the Banff Centre for the Arts. I’m here…well, because I am. You’re stuck with me. Wanna go for coffee?

2) Why do you write?
I write because I spend my days in a cubicle. It’s a mighty fine cubicle – three walls of my own, a little file cabinet, a sticker that says ‘ubergeek,’ and even a bit of daylight. But I write because I’ve wanted to “be” a writer since I was a little kid. Mom has my first book (self-published, naturally). “It was a cowboy kind of morning,” I wrote, and I’ve been writing ever since.

3) What’s the best thing you’ve ever written?
Well, this story is pretty dandy, isn’t it?

4) What do you do when you aren’t writing?
I’m an admissions officer at a public university. It’s probably the best job for a writer I can imagine, because I’m talking to people all the time…and frequently young people who have boundless energy. And enthusiasm. And ambition. And dreams. It keeps me from becoming an old fart.

5) Name two books that have blown your mind.
Blindness, by Jose Saramago. I was reading it on an overcast day – if you’ve read the book, you’ll know why it freaked me out when I looked up at the sky. Man, he could write. RIP, Jose Saramago. The world misses you.

The second? It’s a tie, I think, between A Moveable Feast (Ernest Hemingway) and Dune (Frank Herbert). I love the Hemingway because of the simplicity of the story – the opening line still gives me chills. And Dune because there’s just so darn much going on in one book. I read it as a sulky teenager during summer vacation, and it blew my mind. Really. I still reread it about once a year…though I think the books that follow it are heresy.

6) What do you like to write about?
A little of everything, I guess. I have my angsty literary fiction, but I have fun with the surreal, slightly silly pieces, too. I keep meandering into fantasy and science fiction, but I can’t really decide what kind of writer I am.

7) Complete this sentence: If the world could know one thing about me, it’s that I …
…always have two Kleenex. One in each pocket. No, I don’t know why. But I’m always glad I do.

8) Are we doomed?
If reality television is any indication…yes. We’re already too far gone.

No, I don’t think we’re doomed. You know, there’s oil in the ocean, the phytoplankton keep dying out, we spend our time reading TMZ (err…right?), but there’s still so much potential in this world. So much left to do, so many things to learn and say…no, we’re not doomed. Not unless that giant methane bubble story really wasn’t a hoax.

9) Anything else?
Thanks for reading Awkward Two! Buy a copy! Buy lots of copies!

2 Comments to “Meet the Awkward Two Writers: Heather Clitheroe”

  1. Let me set the record straight before TMZ does: I’ve never eaten moose. But I *have* eaten caribou. And it was yummy.

    Thanks for the kind words, Jeffrey! I can’t wait to get my hands on Awkward Two!

  2. Joyce Plunkett says:

    Can’t wait to hear when this one comes out! That’s a pretty good tease for story #1 ;-)


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