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HOW I DID ITI became self employed in 2008 so I could take my writing more seriously, and enrolled on the MA at Sheffield Hallam where finishing a novel is part of the course. My novel was a historical mystery-cum-family saga,but after five agents rejected it – very nicely, saying it was beautifully written – I decided to self-publish.To my surprise it became a bestseller!I just promoted it via Twitter and it’s still selling oneor two copiesa day.‘Joyriding’ isone of several storiesI’ve been writing as part of the Cinnamon Press mentoring scheme. I belong to a writing group too – I need people to motivate me or I’d spend all my days wandering in the woods... All the stories grew from ideas I jotted down in my mslexia Diary. At the end of every year, I tear out those pages and shove them under a paperweight until they become yellowed and curly. SoI had the idea years ago, of a young man in prison for killing someone by dangerous driving, who is actually taking the rapfor someone else. But I kept wondering, who is telling this story and why? Then this 15-year- old girl popped into my head, just like that. And I wrote the entire story in an evening; almost like automatic writing.Usually I write in third person, and labour obsessively over my sentences, crafting and cutting– but I hardly edited ‘Joyriding’ at all. Just tried to put in enough punctuation so the reader would be able to follow it.The setting, the voice, and the personality, came very naturally to me, because I have worked with a lot of young people. They create such complex narratives in their lives, webs of half-lies, depending on which face they want someone to see. KATE MITCHELLThe kidby JULIE IRIGARAYYou were missing for three weeks when a passer-by discovereda piece of your thigh near the stream.For four months the police searched the shores, your neighbours’ cellars, the cold rooms of butchers’ and slaughterhouses to recover your remains.They finally found you on the lake’s islandwhere black swans unfurled their tube-necksamong bronze geese. A peaceful place to be buried.You had been dismembered like Osiris with no Isis to gather your body and recite incantations for your resurrection.Forensic doctors removed the fleshfrom your femurs and fibulas to find outif you had been used as a sadist’s plastic toy.They deduced from the injuries on your skull that someone had tried to hammerinto you how hazardous fate may be.Once the coroners had finished their job,they felt ashamed to give back a box of bonesto your mother, so they polished them with endless care.JULIE IRIGARAY is a French Basque student currently working on an MPhil in Literary Translation at Trinity College Dublin. Though she only started writing in English two years ago, her work has been published in Tearsin the Fence, Southword and Envoi, and she has been shortlisted for several prestigious poetry prizes. She also writes articles on culture and politics for the University Times – cultural difference is a recurring theme in her work.showcasemslexia Mar/Apr/May 2017 23PHOTO: TAMMADA / SHUTTERSTOCK

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