Elizabeth Chats With…Orna Ross
My guest this month has been described in The Bookseller as “One of the 100 most influential people in publishing.” She is an award-winning Irish novelist and poet, Founder-Director of the Creativist Club, an online community for creative entrepreneurs, and a fierce advocate for independent publishing. In 2012, she founded ALLi (the Alliance of Independent Authors) and remains the powerhouse at the centre of this organisation which is so important to many indies, myself included. I am delighted that Orna Ross has agreed to drop by and chat to me today.
Good morning, Orna and welcome to my blog. Let’s start back by taking you back to childhood. What was your favourite subject at school — and which was the lesson you always wanted to avoid?
English literature, of course! And I always wanted to avoid commerce and economics, as it was called then. I suppose it would be business studies now. That’s a bit ironic given that I now run a publishing business and a non-profit. But of course creative business is different.
If you had to escape from a fire, what three things would you take with you?
Things, not counting people? My MacBook Air. My kindle. And my phone!
How would you finish the sentence “not a lot of people know…”?
…that I run a meditation and f-r-e-e-writing session online, four mornings a week, in a closed Facebook group.
Where is your favourite place on earth — and why?
Salema, a tiny fishing village in south western Portugal. When our family was young we spent every summer there for years and we all love it there. Beautiful beach, loads of character, lovely people, super slow relaxed pace of life.
If you knew you only had 24 hours left, how would you spend them?
On Salema beach, with my family (no doubt giving them all instructions about what I want them to do when I’m gone). And with my Collected W B Yeats in my beach bag.
If you could change one law, what would it be?
The laws that still exist in many countries consigning women to second-class citizenship.
If you could meet one person from history, who would it be — and why?
Maud Gonne, the Irish revolutionary and muse to the poet W B Yeats. I have written a trilogy about her and her daughter and I would love to meet her in person and see did I get her right.
Watch a film, go to the theatre, read a book or talk to friends?
All of the above please! Though not all at once.
If you could take part in one television programme, which one would it be?
The Oscars. With one of my books nominated for best adapted screenplay.
Would you describe yourself as left-brain (analytical), right-brain (intuitive) or a mix of both?
Everyone is both, aren’t they? But I’m definitely more on the intuitive side.
How can people support your work?
I ask anybody who has been inspired or informed or helped by any of my writing, or other work, to make a donation on my Patreon page. There I offer patrons exclusive poetry, books and the other bonuses.
Orna, thank you so much for finding time in your busy schedule to pop by today. Readers, you can find out more about Orna on her website. You can also find her on Facebook; on Twitter; or on Instagram.