Smoking With Sheila Killian

Read the Story September 15, 2003

First Paul McCartney on Abbey Road and now your protagonist. What is it about barefootedness and death?

I’m not sure – something to do with going to bed maybe, an end-of-day thing? The way a child takes off her shoes when she gets home. Not sure.

Tell us a little bit about what’s taken you to Johannesburg.

It’s a big family adventure. We’ve always wanted to come to Africa, having lived in Ireland all our lives. The opportunity came up to teach here for a year. Now we’re really having the time of our lives here. Last month we drove up through the Kalahari across Botswana, into the Namib, to where it meets the sea. Now that would really blow your mind – miles of golden desert in one direction, and the pounding Atlantic breakers in the other! We have three smallish children, so it’s fabulous to be able to do all these things while they’re big enough not to be carried, and small enough to want to come with us.

If for some reason, writing was to be taken away from you, what would you do with yourself?

Talk incessantly!

Who are some of your favorite authors? Favorite books?

It’s clich├ęd, but I love Seamus Heaney, for his way with words. I read anything though – I love Kurt Vonnegut, Ira Levin, Eavan Boland … I’m reading The Little Prince at the moment.

Anything you’d like to tell the world (or the small portion of it that reads online lit mags)?

Let curiosity be your compass!

About the Author:

Sheila Killian is an Irish woman living and working in Johannesburg on a year-long family adventure. Previously published poetry can be found in the Electric Acorn. She is a political satire prizewinner in the Strokestown Poetry Contest.

About the Artist:

A native of Ohio, Marty D. Ison lives with his wife transplanted in the sands of the Gulf of Mexico. He studied fine arts at Saint Petersburg College. In addition to the visual arts, he writes poetry, short stories, and novels. See more of Ison's work here.