copyright CJ Strahan

A quick chat with Clare Strahan about Literary Rats

Travelling through the blogosphere I stumbled across writer and blogger Clare Strahan’s Literary Rats. I think these funny rats are the perfect accompaniment for the struggling writer (and let’s face it, most writers are struggling writers).

These rats just crack me up (and speak to my heart)! It can be a lonely occupation being a writer, especially when those around you may not appreciate the nuances of the art – haha. The literary rats get to the nitty gritty of these and other writerly issues.

Normally when I interview bloggers I ask them why they blog, but today it’s all about the rats (plus it is a nice segue from my previous cheese theme πŸ˜‰ ).

So here are a couple of questions for Clare.

You are a writer, editor and blogger, with a cartoon sideline! Tell me about your Literary Rats.

Hanging around writing, writers, and writing festivals, one hears many a statement about literature, writers, words, language, communication, meaning, art, creativity, etc., Profound, beautiful, edifying and mysterious statements. Statements that elicit a variety of sighs: sighs of awed appreciation and gratitude to exist in such a milieu; sighs of longing to be the wise, accomplished, respected writer, speaker of such statements; and sometimes that other kind of sigh that’s accompanied by a rolling of the eyes. Somehow, for me, in their strange simplicity, the Literary Rats manage to represent all these sighs.

The Literary Rats first infested my notebook pages at the Emerging Writers Festival in 2009 as part of my assiduous emerging-writer note taking. I’d been at RMIT’s Prof writing & editing pretty-much full time for over a year by then and had my eye on becoming an emerging writer. I was hoping assiduous note-taking would help. Then the Rats began to breed in my writing classes, too: especially those chaired by the enigmatic and brilliant Ania Walwicz.

I call the Literary Rats plagiaristic because inspiration is elicited from conversations, note-taking and things I overhear. Then the Rats and I make our response. My only requirement is that they amuse me – that they amuse others also is a remarkable delight.

So they began as assiduous doodling! Do you have any plans to release your rats beyond the blogosphere?

On the suggestion of a literary friend, I printed a small sample of Literary Rat greeting cards, but I’m not sure where to sell them. I suspect I need to hawk them at delicious independent bookstores where writerly types might hang out, but I haven’t, so they’re sitting in the ‘crafts’ storage box.

As to other Rat plans: I am open to suggestions.

Copyright CJ Strahan


Thanks Clare πŸ™‚

I love the sound of greeting cards! Best of luck with sending your Rats out into the world.