Issue 050 Author Interview: Hannah Whiteoak and “Earth Report”

In today’s Issue 050 author interview we’re taking a close look at human nature with Hannah Whiteoak and their story “Earth Report.”

LSQ: This is a wonderfully transformative piece where the transformation lies with the main character. Share with us about your use of perspective to tell this story.

Hannah: I enjoy using the perspectives of people who are outsiders in some way. People who don’t quite understand a society, and/or aren’t understood by it, can give interesting insights.

LSQ: I think we’ve all been to the supermarket on Sunday and felt the human chaos you describe so well. Is there one annoying human thing in particular that really gets under your skin? Anything in particular that motivated your story?

Hannah: The part of this story I relate to most strongly is actually the main characters’ love of biscuits. Humans are annoying in so many ways that sometimes I wonder why we bother to keep going, but then I have a cup of tea and a biscuit and feel better. Perhaps there’s a life lesson there.

LSQ: Your story was funny as well as incredibly touching. How often do you combine different techniques for a certain effect? Is humor something you enjoy writing?

Hannah: I don’t usually write humor, but occasionally a story will pop out with a humorous voice. It’s always a nice surprise when that happens and I try not to kill it with edits.

LSQ: In your stories, do you usually look for emotional closure for your characters? The ending to this story was just perfect! Is there anything else about the ending you wanted to add?

Hannah: I really struggle to write endings. Real life so rarely has emotional closure. I have a hard drive full of stories that are fine apart from the fact that they just stop, as I can’t find a satisfying and believable way to end them. An ending idea that works is a rare gift from the writing gods.

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