Cruella Collett

what is your name?
Cruella Collett in the blogosphere, but I’ll also answer to my given name, Mari Salberg

how would you describe what you do?
I do a lot of things, really, but for the purpose of this interview I’d say the most interesting part is what has to do with combining letters to form words either on paper or a computer screen. That is, I write.

what are you currently working on?
My blog is what keeps me writing regularly these days. In addition I often collaborate in various projects with my writers’ group, The Burrow. Most of our projects have to do with writing drabbles (100 word long stories), often to artwork. However, we also hosted a WriMo in June and we have just launched our newest project: a collective blog, called “Burrowers, Books and Balderdash”.
In a longer perspective, though, I hope to write books. One day. After I finish my thesis (which will be due this November – yay!)

what has had the greatest influence on your work?
I’ve been reading since I was four, and the amount of books I have managed to wolf down since then has no doubt been a great influence on both my writing and my personality.
My favourite authors include Astrid Lindgren, Knut Hamsun, Charles Dickens, JK Rowling, Markus Zusak and Carlos Ruiz Zafón to name a few.

what is the greatest misconception about you or your work?
I’m not sure there are enough misconceptions about it yet!

what do you see as the main strengths and weaknesses of the medium you work in?
If we are talking printed books, that is a whole can of worms just becoming evident due to technological developments and financial problems in the business.
If we are talking online publishing the major challenge I can think of would be the vastness of it. There appears to be no limit to the amount of text being produced, no limit to the amount of participants. The result can easily be that great writers are being overlooked. Also, the quality of writing online varies greatly, so it is hard to distinguish oneself from the rest.

how has technology impacted upon the work you do?
Without the online writing community I might have given up on writing entirely, or I would at the very least put it on hold for much longer. My writers’ group is online based (though several of us have met in person), and without the “responsibility” of an audience I might never have stopped procrastinating and started writing.
Access to the World Wide Web also provides a unique opportunity for research and inspiration, and of course, had it not been for technology I would have had to write longhand. That would have made me throw in the towel long ago, for sure.

what’s the greatest piece of advice you would like to pass on?
Just. Write. Or whatever your passion is. It is too easy to tell oneself that “I need to finish school first” or “I can’t really see myself writing while the kids are young” or “As soon as I have a little money saved up I can take some time off and really focus on my writing”
These are just excuses we make to avoid getting serious about our passions (which can be very scary indeed). If writing is your passion, don’t put it off. Write whenever you can. Ten minutes, twenty minutes, an hour – everything helps – and before you know it you will have become so addicted to the habit that you are making room in your schedule to fit in that daily routine.

where can we find you online?
My blog: http://thegiraffabilityofdigressions.blogspot.com/
The Burrow blog: http://burrowers.blogspot.com/
The Burrow website: www.the-burrow.org

what are you reading at the moment?
I’m always reading many books simultaneously. The ones in which I am mostly active right now is “The Poisonwood Bible” and I just finished the Percy Jackson-series. Next on my list is “A Fine Balance” by Rohinton Mistry. Plus I am rereading my favourite Harry Potter for the summer (“Goblet of Fire”, thanks for asking). In addition I am constantly reading a number of non-fiction books for my thesis.

what are you listening to at the moment?
Spotify! This free, online streaming service makes me happy every day.

anything else we should know?
I like giraffes!

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