what is your name?
Joseph Fonseca. But a lot of people know my writing by Lyttleton.
how would you describe what you do?
I write shit. Rather, what I write isn’t (necessarily) shit, but I just write whatever. I’ve got a few unpublished novels under my belt, plenty of short stories and poetry, and I’ve even dabbled in play/screenwriting. Also, I travel a lot.
what are you currently working on?
I’m working on an extended art/life experiment called 10 cities in 10 years, which is quite plainly me living in ten different cities over 10 consecutive years. I’m currently in my 5th city (Chicago) and am blogging about my experiences while also using the medium to discuss science, religion and the other things that stick in my head.
At the same time, I’m revising what is essentially my 4th novel and will at some point make a serious attempt to find an agent/publisher. I don’t believe in the self-publishing route for myself. For some people, that works, but for me it would be unsatisfying. I think self-publishing will need to evolve into something with a stronger filter before I could ever personally embrace it.
what has had the greatest influence on your work?
I don’t know if their writing influence is evident or not, but F. Scott Fitzgerald and Jack Kerouac were big early influences on me (at least, on my life choices), and I especially love “The Great Gatsby” and “On The Road” (both are clichés, but just because they’ve saturated our cultural consciousness, doesn’t mean they suddenly stop being great works). If I could have written the novels of any one modern writer, it would be the British author, Jon Mcgregor.
I’m influenced by great science writers like Carl Sagan and Richard Dawkins and my poetry tends to reflect the opposing lyricism of songwriters like Thom Yorke and Ryan Adams (I like the mixing of the personal with the esoteric). At the same time, I don’t go out of my way to try to emulate anyone, so I really don’t have a fair idea of what influences peak out in my writing. I devour books and music and movies, so I think all of that gets into my writing somehow.
what is the greatest misconception about you or your work?
People think I’m being sarcastic when I’m being sincere and vice-versa. Also, I’m nicer in person than my writing implies. Though, not much.
what do you see as the main strengths and weaknesses of the medium you work in?
Novels are the greatest medium. There are no weaknesses. As for blogging, I think the biggest weakness is that I can still hit the ‘Post’ button when I’m piss drunk. That may be its greatest strength, too.
how has technology impacted upon the work you do?
I blog. Which is not really something I thought I’d ever do. I try hard not to put too much of me personally in my writing. I’m not a confessional sort of writer, so even my blogs tend to reveal little about me.
what’s the greatest piece of advice you would like to pass on?
Read. Constantly. And not just the one or two authors you like, read everything. Also, if you think you’re a good writer, if you’re ever satisfied with what you’ve written, then piss off. The best writer (or anything) will always strive to be better.
where can we find you online?
what are you reading at the moment?
The Family by Jeff Sharlet, a kind of terrifying exposé of the Christian Right in America.
Then We Came To The End by Joshua Ferris, a funny but also fairly sad novel about office life. Think “Office Space” as directed by Noah Baumbach
what are you listening to at the moment?
Fittingly, at this very moment, it’s the greatest album of all time, Radiohead’s “OK Computer”. Other bands I’m obsessed with right now include The Mountain Goats, Sleater-Kinney and Iron & Wine.
anything else we should know?
There is no god.