We asked Nadia Ragbar five questions about writing as we gear up for the launch of The Unpublished City collection on June 22.
IFOA: Where do you draw inspiration from?
Nadia Ragbar: It all comes through observation, both in the world around me, but also in keenly observing my own feelings and internal tensions in response to what I’m seeing or thinking.
I am inspired to physically sit and write when I have witnessed that lovely, bubbling creative spark in other people’s work and art.
IFOA: What’s the story that you have to write no matter what (at some point in your life)?
Ragbar: The story I most need to finish no matter what is the manuscript I’m currently working on. It’s the first novel I’ve ever written and I absolutely have to see it to completion before I die. Or else.
Also, I think I might need to write a screenplay for a teen comedy.
IFOA: Where do you write? Is there a specific place you do your writing?
Ragbar: I write at home, toggling between pen and paper, and on the computer. Writing by hand helps me get a shape out, but typing with both hands helps me write faster, and get more complex thoughts and sentences out.
I also have a weekly writing date with a good friend at a coffee shop. I never thought I’d be able to write in public, but these meetings have been really productive and I got over my self-consciousness when I saw everyone else in there frantically Dear Diary-ing, as well.
IFOA: If you could ask your favourite author a question, what would it be?
Ragbar: I would ask any career writer how they managed to balance between being a dreamer in their heads and being a realist in the world, at the very starts of their careers. I have a hard time keeping a foot in both.
Toni Morrison, three practical tips, maybe?
IFOA: What are you writing now?
Ragbar: I’m revising a draft of a novel manuscript about conjoined twins. The more dominant twin is a boxer, and the other a bookkeeper who hates boxing and secretly wants to separate. It’s a story about belonging, loss, compromise and connection. Ultimately, it’s a story about family, and finding your unique place in it and in the world.
Islam is one of the authors featured in The Unpublished City: a collection of works by Toronto’s emerging literary talents. IFOA and BookThug invite you to the collection’s release on June 22 at 7:30 PM as part of the Toronto Lit Up book launch series.
For more information, click here!