Meeting Janet Colson – Hysteria 2015 Judge

Update: Unfortunately Janet has had to pull out of judging this year’s competition due to pressure of work.

Janet is the author of ‘The Shark Party’, a novel recently published in New Zealand by Escalator Press. She also writes poetry and her theatre piece ‘Dali’s Womb’ opened ‘WOMAN; A Collection of Absurdist Monologues’ in the 2013 Maidment Theatre show in Auckland. She feels strongly about the importance of a diversity of voices and stories in a culture where the male voice so often dominates.

janet colsonWhat is one thing that no-one would usually know about you?

I enjoy cutting people’s hair, if they’ll let me.

How did you choose a title for your book?

My editor told me I would find my title in the text of the novel. I stared at the lines wondering where the title was hiding. A friend called me from New York and suggested I ask the book what it wanted to be called. It was worth a go, so I asked the book and went to bed. I woke up the next day with a line in my head – “He’d attracted Carla, however, by saying nothing at all to her at the Damien Hirst shark party.” That was it!

What was the most important thing you learned at school?

Latin. It was quite hard, but it showed me how language propels a story forward.

Tea, Coffee, Water, Juice, Wine or Beer … which do you prefer when writing?

Tea, tea and more tea.

 Are there any habits you wish you didn’t have?

Saying it, and saying it again.

Finding Janet Colson

You can meet Janet on her website at:; on Facebook at and on Twitter by the name of  @JanetColson

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