A Down Under WIPterview With Emily Witt

I’m switching things up a bit today. Because of the absolutely insane polar vortex thingie that has us in its frigid grasp, I’ve hopped on the Flying Monkey Express and gone to Canberra, Australia for today’s WIPterview.

*sigh* Fine. I didn’t. But I’ve got a roaring fire going, and I’m pretending to be someplace where my eyeballs don’t freeze as soon as I step out the door. No, I’m not whining. I don’t whine. I do wine. There’s a difference.

Today I have the great pleasure of welcoming…

Emily Witt

…the incomparable Emily Witt.

Please, make yourself as comfortable as you can in that parka. No, those aren’t castanets, those are my teeth chattering. Or is it your teeth chattering? Oh, it is you! I’m sorry, I’m hogging the fire, aren’t I? I bet this weather is quite a shock for someone from the Land Down Under? Would you like a vegemite sandwich? *snork*

Sorry, couldn’t resist. I don’t even know what a vegemite sandwich is.

EW: It’s okay, I brought my own. *produces sandwich covered in suspicious-looking black spread*

kls: Oh, I see. Um…looks…scrumptious I guess. Let’s get to it, shall we? Why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself? Who are you?

EW: My name is Emily Witt and I live in Canberra, Australia. Recently, I’ve worked as a curatorial assistant at the Australian War Memorial, which is less exciting than it sounds, though it does have its moments. In February I’ll be starting a new position at the National Library. Yes, I make a point of only working at national institutions.

I have a boyfriend named Edy who will be moving in with me in a few weeks, so that’s exciting. I’m a huge nerd as well; I went halfway across the world at the end of 2013 to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who in London.

kls: Wow, you’re right, Curatorial Assistant sounds very impressive. Almost as impressive as being a WIPpeteer. *smiles* Speaking of which, what drew you to our band of merry word flingers?

EW: According to my first WIPpet post, I saw a reference on Twitter and thought I’d give it a go. Right away everyone was so welcoming and encouraging and I was hooked.

kls: I’m glad we made you feel so welcome. What WIP(s) have you been sharing with our readers?

EW: Primarily, I share excerpts from A More Complicated Fairytale, which is mostly a romance but with some low fantasy elements. There have also been a few snippets from Operation: Sugarplum  which will one day be a modern day adaptation of The Nutcracker, but it keeps giving me hell so it’s very slow moving.

kls: Ah, I can relate. I’ve got a couple WIPs that fight me. Now that you’ve been participating in WIPpet Wednesday for some time, what would you say is your favorite part?

EW: Definitely the community aspect. *does a flaily motion in the air* Everyone is just so wonderful! Everyone is so open-minded and interested in everyone else’s work, and even if what someone writes isn’t really someone else’s thing, they still leave a nice comment, or give some feedback on it.

kls: I like the flaily motion. Very…graceful. *clears throat* What project(s) are you currently working on outside of WW?

EW: I’m going to be playing Abigail Williams in The Crucible, which is pretty terrifying, because up until now, the biggest roles I’ve ever played have been Mrs Claus in a Christmas play, and Jan in Grease, both of which are pretty much the opposite to Abigail. When I did Grease, I was going around talking with an American accent without even realizing it, so hopefully I won’t start accusing people of witchcraft this time around.  I also have a group of friends I met at NaNoWriMo write-ins and we meet up to write and talk about writing twice a month, so that’s pretty awesome.

kls: Hmm, an actress as well, I see. I spent some time on the stage in High School. I played Fran in Scrooge. In college I worked in the costume department for a semester. Good times. Okay, speaking of good times, Ruth seems to have taken the alphorn home with her so here, *hands Emily a kazoo* see what you can do with this because it’s time for some horn-blowing. Tell our readers what you have out there, where to find it, what’s coming next, and where to connect with you.

EW: Currently I don’t have anything published, but you can follow my blog (http://keysandopenmind.wordpress.com), Twitter (@keysandopenmind), and Pinterest (pinterest.com/keysandopenmind) to find out when I do!

kls: *braces self* Yes, it’s here. Time for the extremely verbose Lightning Round! Make some popcorn and settle in.

            Coffee or tea? Depends on my mood.

                Rock or country? Rock.

                City, country, or seaside? Country

                Favorite color?  Green

kls: *blinks in disbelief* *begins to laugh* There! See that? See that, oh ye wordy WIPpeteers? That was a properly done, totally slam-dunked, lightning round. *holds out fist* Come on, bump me.

Favorite pastime besides penning fantastic tales?    Baking, and singing along very loudly to show-tunes.

kls: *sighs* Well, right up until that last one. *lowers fist* There, I think that’s all I have. Thanks so much for stopping by and for joining in the craziness that is WIPpet Wednesdays. Anything else you’d like to share? Any final thoughts?

EW: I don’t think so. Just that I’m glad I don’t appear to have run into any flying monkeys. *glances about* Had a traumatic experience while doing backstage crew for the Wizard of Oz where one forgot to go onstage when he should have. It was very intense for everyone.

kls: Ah…no…now you’ve gone and done it. *stands and slowly backs from the room* You went and mentioned WOO. I’m sorry…I can’t help you now…

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30 responses

  1. Thanks for having me, Kathi! I’ll just, um… curl up in the parka and hope the monkeys don’t see me…

    January 24, 2014 at 5:56 am

    • I think that curl into a ball thing only works with bears.

      January 26, 2014 at 11:29 am

  2. Another fun interview, and another great chance to get know another WIPpeteer a bit better! 🙂

    January 24, 2014 at 8:35 am

  3. Lovely interview. Hope you survived the flying monkeys! 🙂

    January 24, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    • Well, I found the parka…

      January 26, 2014 at 11:28 am

      • I woke up on Saturday morning in my own bed with no memory of what happened after you left the room. Not sure what happened but I seem to have managed.

        (Also please don’t mind me while I respond to everyone on here before it gets to that awkward point where it’s really too late for that).

        January 28, 2014 at 3:21 am

      • Hee, hee, hee…erm…um…nothing happened. Nothing at all. *whistles innocently*

        January 28, 2014 at 6:11 am

  4. I enjoyed the interview. When Emily mentioned she did an American accent for Grease, I wondered why… then I remembered she’s in Australia. I am sure her American accent is better than the fake Australian accent I attempt now and then.

    I would be interested to see an Australian take on the Crucible, because there may be some separation of the history it presents (Puritan, 1600 Massachusetts) and the history it was written in response to (the Red Scare, anti-communist senate hearings of the 1950’s), allowing the actors and director to bring something new to it.

    The Crucible is assigned reading in nearly every high school here in the U.S., and I taught it during my brief English teaching career, so I apologize for getting a little carried away. It’s a fantastic play, and Abigail is a challenging but enthralling part to play. The director must have a lot of faith in Emily to place her in the role. Good luck!

    And, good luck with Emily’s WIP! Writing is a marvelous rode to travel.

    January 24, 2014 at 5:05 pm

    • I bet you do an awesome Australian accent. Don’t we all? 😉

      I don’t think I ever read the Crucible.

      January 26, 2014 at 11:28 am

    • Our accent is very tricky! Doesn’t seem to matter where someone is from, they never get it quite right! (It also doesn’t help that most of us are subtler than Steve Irwin or Crocodile Dundee!)

      At the moment, I have no idea what our director has in mind. It’s going to be really exciting getting into rehearsals, even if I did read through the script a week or so ago and felt like a monster by the end of it. I kind of feel like I am more the type to play Elizabeth Proctor, lol, but it is really exciting to be given this role.

      January 28, 2014 at 3:28 am

      • I thought as long as you could manage ‘g’day’ and throw in a ‘mate’ every now and again, you had it nailed. 😉

        January 28, 2014 at 6:13 am

      • I’m glad you find yourself more like Elizabeth Proctor. I’d be worried if you related more to Abigail. That should make it a fun, challenging role.

        January 28, 2014 at 12:40 pm

  5. Reblogged this on A Keyboard and an Open Mind and commented:
    Blogging achievement unlocked: interviewed on someone else’s blog. This interview is part of Kathi Schwengel’s series of interviews with all the WIPpeteers. Check it out!

    January 25, 2014 at 12:05 am

  6. Another great interview! Good luck in The Crucible, Emily. I miss all that camaraderie and excitment of working on and performing in a play. I hope we get to see some photos sometime. 🙂

    January 26, 2014 at 4:42 am

    • Better yet, someone should film it. 🙂

      January 26, 2014 at 11:25 am

      • Yes! You hear that Emily… 🙂

        January 26, 2014 at 11:50 am

    • There will definitely be photos! And I’ll see what I can do about video. I do tend to offer my camcorder for these sorts of productions, so it’s highly possible!

      January 28, 2014 at 3:30 am

      • Hurray!! Make the popcorn! And pretzel bites. I want some pretzel bites.

        January 28, 2014 at 6:13 am

  7. *imitates flaily motion, punches self in face*

    We’re a graceful bunch, no doubt about it.

    Great interview! Best of luck with the play, Emily. 🙂

    January 26, 2014 at 3:31 pm

    • *cringes* Um…do you want some ice for that?

      January 27, 2014 at 5:33 am

      • Happens all the time. I’ll be fine.

        January 27, 2014 at 5:57 am

    • I feel ya. I have been known to whack my knuckles on walls/doorways/bed frames, etc while flailing.

      January 28, 2014 at 3:32 am

      • I wind up with bruises and I have no idea how or when I got them.

        January 28, 2014 at 6:14 am

  8. Ah Emily, I have Dr Who jealousy. I would have totally gone too. I thought we were doing well seeing it at the movies. LOVED the 50th. Thought the Xmas episode was a bit blah. But then saying goodbye to Matt Smith was never going to be Christmas fuzzies. Aren’t you glad it didn’t screen on Christmas in our neck of the woods!

    *looks around and throws in a flail for good measure* this isn’t a dr who blog, and those are flying monkeys… As always love your style Kathi!

    January 27, 2014 at 2:47 am

    • We’re going to add the flail move to the official WIPpeteer dance. I want to clarify, the *move* not the weapon. That could be dangerous.

      January 27, 2014 at 5:32 am

    • If you want to be more jealous, here’s my blog and photos about the anniversary event. I was also a bit underwhelmed by the Christmas episode (which I was still in the UK for, so it was Christmas night for me! The friend I was staying with and I both started crying when Amy appeared, though the sneeze-regeneration took us by surprise).

      Has anyone tried sonic screwdriver-ing the flying monkeys?

      January 28, 2014 at 3:42 am

      • Why would you want to do that to my poor, sweet, innocent monkeys? Well, they were sweet and innocent until ReGi gave them chamomile tea.

        January 28, 2014 at 6:17 am

  9. Great interview as usual. Wow! That’s a great role! Good luck, Emily.

    January 27, 2014 at 10:53 am

    • Thanks! Kind of freaking out but I’m sure it will be awesome!

      January 28, 2014 at 3:43 am

  10. Vegemite… I’ve seen it up close but haven’t tried it yet. Somethings need to be given the chance to work their way into the mind… kind of like Limburger (sorry, it’s my old country German background peeking through).

    Best to you in the Crucible, Emily. Though an “American” accent? Not sure what that is. Bostonian? Appalachian? Mid-West? 😉 (I know what you mean, just had to tease. I’m sure there are as many variations Down Under.)

    January 29, 2014 at 1:40 pm

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