Hazel Manuel: Why do I write?
Writing is my raft. On it I am carried back to the source, to a place of silence, a place where ideas are free to form, where combinations of words combine, recombine, shift, flow, change, surge; a place where I can breathe freely, feel deeply, pursue what is authentic, reject what isn’t. Dostoevsky wrote that ‘deprived of meaningful work, men and women lose their reason for existence; they go stark, raving mad.’ For me, writing is my meaningful work. It is work which frees me from that subtle wave of daily tedium, that string of unremitting and insignificant little importances, that unceasing rhythm of daily grind which if left unchecked, grows and feeds and demands sacrifices of our time and energy and emotion and which often gives so little in return. For me, writing is a liberation. The ideas which shape my work are unpredictable, ungovernable, and as such the process of identifying them, making meaning out of them, arranging them on the page such that they say something of coherence is exhilarating. My novels explore universal human concerns; connection, isolation, loss, joy, fear, friendship. I write about every-day people seeking to find that which is important in life. In writing these stories, I seek to learn what is truly meaningful. I write because I am too fascinated by life to allow it to become a slow death.
Check out Hazel's new book, The Geranium Woman, set in Paris and Mumbai published by Cinnamon Press on her website: