Gillian Best

Gillian Best

Looking back, it seems natural that I would become a writer. Family dinners hardly ever focused on the events of the day in a factual fashion. Instead, we told stories.

And as my siblings and I grew older, the storytelling began to take on an air of one-upmanship. Who could tell the most outrageous story, while still making sure to adhere to at the very least the bare bones of the truth? Who could set the best scene? Who would be funniest? Which of us would have the most interesting characters as friends?

I set out to live an interesting life, for the sole purpose of having similarly interesting stories to tell. But instead of just telling them around the dinner table, or down the pub, I write them.

The same rules still apply as when I was a kid: the more outrageous, the more absurd, the funnier, the better.


Gillian Best in 60 seconds

When did you start writing?

1990 in Waterloo, Canada.

What do you love about short stories?

They're compact, you get an entire world in a few pages.

Do you write in other forms?

Short stories tend to be the beginning of novels for me.

What distracts you from writing?

Work and pottering about on the internet.

Outside of writing, what are your other passions?

I love swimming, yoga, and hanging out with my far-flung group of friends.

What is your favourite book?

If One a Winter's Night a Traveller, by Italo Calvino.

Who are your favourite writers?

Haruki Murakami, Margaret Atwood and AM Homes.

Where is your dream location?

Seaside, warm or windswept.

What one item would you put into Room 101?

Broadband help line scripts.

Do you have any advice for new writers?

Keep going.

Work by Gillian Best:

Gillian Best
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Charlie Carbunckle, an obsessive pigeon fancier, suffers the loss of one of his birds and the blame falls at the feet of his son Seamus.

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