We asked Nadia Ragbar five questions about writing as we gear up for the launch of The Unpublished City collection on June 22.
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.
Nadia Ragbar‘s work has appeared in Broken Pencil, Echolocation, Dragnet Magazine, and The Glass Coin. She lives in Toronto.
Islam is one of the authors featured in The Unpublished City: a collection of works by Toronto’s emerging literary talents.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!