Au Contraire 3: Guest of Honour Speech AJ Fitzwater

Christchurch based author of short fiction and Clarion graduate, AJ Fitzwater was a Guest of Honour at Au Contraire 3 over Queen’s Birthday weekend recently. 

AJ has kindly allowed us to publish a transcript of their GoH speech, delivered on 5th June 2016.

Kia ora koutou katoa. Thank you for joining me today, distinguished guests. I hope you’re all enjoying Au Contraire. Thanks to all the volunteers putting in the time and effort to celebrate what we love here this weekend. And thank you to the concom for inviting me as a guest of honour. It’s a privilege to be one of many women representing New Zealand speculative fiction here and overseas.

Trigger Warnings for difficult and sensitive subjects here within.

Not that long ago, in a galaxy not that far away…

An orphan stands on the precipice of reckoning, looking towards the sunset, hoping for a better life out there amongst the stars. This orphan has MAD SKILLZ. They know something about survival and rebellion. The orphan quests with a mysterious stranger who offers a glimpse of a better life, and the possibility of find

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SpecFic Spotlight: A. J. Fitzwater

There are easy answers and there are hard answers. If you’re in the whimsical, 30-second-Oscar-speech mood, what fuels my writing is tea, dragons, and the steely blade of Joanna Russ. The harder answer is: I want to make a difference.

Many people like the precision: the “I knew what I was and wanted before coherent thought”. The young successful artiste. The blockbuster by the age of 25. A shelf groaning beneath awards. The brilliant obit.

But I’ve never approached life the easy way. I had no clue that writing was for me until my mid-30s. I glommed onto science fiction and fantasy in my teens, Anne McCaffrey and Melanie Rawn especial favourites. I dabbled in romance writing in my early 20s, thinking it easy money (it was, but it wasn’t emotionally fulfilling). I thought my career as an advertising copywriter would fulfil my creative desire: it didn’t. | Read More...

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