Read an interview with Little Doomsdays authors Nic Low and Phil Dadson


Wellington City Library has interviewed authors Nic Low and Phil Dadson about their recent publication Little Doomsdays

These ‘kōrero series’ projects all begin with an approach from series editor Lloyd Jones and his suggestion of a concept on which each of you could build. What was your first reaction when he got in touch?

NL: I was intrigued. At the time I was deep in the organising of the WORD Festival, and promoting my last book, Uprising, which took me seven years and quite a lot of slog to write. The prospect of something short, collaborative and experimental appealed.

PD: The first pairing suggested by Lloyd fell over unfortunately — for various reasons — and sometime later Lloyd suggested the collaboration with Nic. Quite frankly I knew nothing about Nic’s work at the outset, and given the previous experience entered into the collaboration with a slight sense of reserve. This was rapidly dissolved, however, as we established connection and a bond of empathy.

Phil, you are in Auckland, and Nic, you are in Christchurch. Did you know each other before you embarked on this?

NL: No. I knew of Phil, though, because my dad is a musician who’s also into free and experimental music, so I’d been exposed to Phil’s work in his seminal group From Scratch.

PD: See above!

How did you decide on your working process?

NL: We didn’t agree any particular formal structure — it was more a game of hide and seek as we worked through the unpredictability of COVID and around various other projects, swapping images or ideas, sending through drafts, chatting on the phone. Phil initially did some beautiful images riffing on the idea of the arc; we had long conversations about these, and toyed with several different approaches, but ultimately the thing just unfolded. We did agree early that he wouldn’t be illustrating my writing, and I wouldn’t be writing a direct response to his work. We’d allow them to sit alongside each other, and let readers draw their own conclusions.

PD: Because of very different timelines and obligations we evolved the relationship reasonably independently at the outset, but more in tandem as the process evolved.

Read the full interview on the library blog.