Thursday, July 3, 2014

Interview with Lydia Kurnia

Today, I welcome author, poet and artist Lydia Kurnia, who not only provided a great story for the anthology Unburied Treasures, but also created the stunning cover and the beautiful internal artwork. Here, she tells us about her many creative outlets.


Hello, Lydia, and thanks for agreeing to appear on my blog.

Thanks for inviting me to your blog, nice and cosy here. I love the decor, Nyki.

Thank you. Could you tell us something about yourself, and what you do when you're not writing or creating art?

In the real world, you mean? I'm a girl who loves to read any kind of fiction and appreciate any forms of art. I love the versatility of digital art particularly how it is used in movies. On the job front, I studied Psychology and spent fifteen years in Human Resources before deciding to ditch the Corporate world and... starve in the bliss of creative arts. Ha! I ventured into video editing for a bit but soon discovered I'm just a girl who loves to write and draw whimsical stuff.

Fair enough. Your story in the anthology,
Secrets, is set in Australia and Bali, and involves Indonesian folklore. Can you tell us something about these aspects of the story?

Well, the true mythology of Leyaks isn't really like the way I described them in 'Secrets'. This tale was born from one of those FWO writing prompts: to write a story about an existing myth with a twist. Traditional Leyaks actually drink the blood of pregnant women. I gathered sucking people's souls seems much cooler, so that's what my Leyaks ended up doing.

I chose a creature from an Indonesian folklore because I grew up immersed in these tales... and also because at the time, I'd just been to Bali for a holiday. Leyaks are celebrated everywhere in Bali; there are masks and statues, not to mention dances and songs featuring these creatures. There are other cool mythological creatures, of course. Indonesia — and the many islands that make it — is rich with so many cultures and dialects, it's quite fascinating.

It certainly sounds fascinating. How long have you been writing for and what kind of things have you written?

Hmm, I don't quite remember when I started writing, but I've had stories, worlds and characters running (camping?) in my head since I could remember.

My stories tend to explore various types of relationships - with others or oneself. It's the thing that speaks to me and I enjoy most dissecting. My short story
Gheeyant:the Giant Fairy explores the many issues of an extrovert trapped in an introvert mind. My poem Inertia reflects the challenges of connecting with people in a world of cut-out expectations. My flash AnArcheanologist's Confession is about a man's sexual obsession with a spider. 

Huh? OK.
And my novel Stealing A Dream touches on complex relationships between characters, countries and powers... which is probably the reason I have so much trouble fixing the ending!

You're also an artist, and you produced the artwork for the anthology. Can you tell us about this, and how it ties in with your writing?

I didn't actually start drawing until I acquired an Ipad and I got one after I finished my novel for which I desperately wanted to illustrate. I mean I had doodled in the past, but I had never dared to pursue this hobby further than for passing boredom. I love drawing scenes, images that tell a story. I think at the end of the day I'm always a story-teller. I love telling stories with my writing, my art, my songs and videos.

You're also producing a trailer for the anthology. I've enjoyed your video art before, and you even created one for me a few years back. Can you tell us more about your video art?

Yes! The Real World was my Christmas present for you back in 2009. I turned your poem into a song and made a music video for it. That was so much fun!


I've just rewatched it, and I still love it.

I got into video art since I married my lovely husband who's a music video producer. I learned a lot from him, and lucky me because I get to 'steal' his resources and even his skills (all the footage for your video was his) to teach myself about the craft. I was into visual poetry for a bit, started a channel in Vimeo for this art form, which got pretty active but sadly I've abandoned now due to time constraints. Now, I like to experiment with flash animation - which is basically compositing frame-by-frame sketches into a story of a sort. It takes a lot of work but I enjoy the process very much. You can view some of the videos that I (and also in collaboration with other artists) have done at my website.
The idea of a book trailer for the anthology is actually Erika's. She figured we have all these images already, why not turn them into moving pictures of a sort. Watch this space for the trailer. I'll be sure to share with you when it is ready!

With so many different strings to your bow, I'm sure you're working on various projects. Can you tell us about them?

On the art front, I'm currently working with my art partner in crime Isaia on illustrations for Melody-Ann Jones Kauffman's serial fiction: ToLive a Dragon's Age and the cover for Ciara Ballintyne's sequel to her debut novella Confronting The Demon for which we did a book trailer. We're also in the middle of creating a show-reel for our website Worlds Beyond for speculative fiction art to show people some services we can offer in this space. Isaia and I don't know yet where we're going with this, but drawing for stories is certainly what we are passionate about, so we figured let's take a shot at it.

On the writing front, I'm in the middle of editing my novella
The ManWho Swallowed The Sun which is a science-fantasy drama featuring a boy who's been genetically engineered into a curative plant in order to demolish a fatal outbreak. And of course, I'm still illustrating and fixing up my novel Stealing A Dream which has been an ongoing project since 2005. Yes, I just want real life to cease getting in the way. 
Or maybe I'm just slow and easily distracted.

Thanks for sharing all about your projects with us.

Thank you again, Nyki for this chance to guest in your blog.

Don’t forget to visit Lydia's blog, where you can find out about her various creative works.

Unburied Treasure is available on, (and all Amazons) and Smashwords.

No comments:

Post a Comment