Today, we are absolutely delighted to introduce you to Gina Cole, who is an award-winning author with a doctorate in creative writing, lawyer and fantastic human being. We first met Gina in 2010, when she was the Chair of the Tautai Trust Board and Louise worked as Fresh Horizons Coordinator. She is at the forefront of a new writing genre, Pasifikafuturism and has released her second novel, Na Viro, this year.
Vinaka vakalevu/Many thanks Gina for sharing your wisdoms, experiences and wit with us.
We’ll let her words speak for themselves in our interview. Enjoy!
Can you please introduce yourself in 25 words or under?
Ni sa bula vinaka. My name is Gina Cole. I am Fijian, Scottish, Welsh. I’m a barrister and
solicitor and these days I write a lot.
When did you know you were creative? Was it a singular moment or more gradual?
I think creativity is like breathing and everybody is creative in some way. My mother taught
me to read and write when I was very young by correspondence school because my father
was a lighthouse keeper and we lived in very remote places where there were no schools. So
I just thought reading and writing was something everybody did. When we moved to the city
and I started primary school the teachers would often comment on my writing. I remember I
wrote a story about a being grumpy and wanting to stay home from school by the heater and
my teacher told me it was really good and once I got ten out of ten for a haiku I wrote about
a daisy. So I started to pay attention from that age.
What made you get involved with creative projects?
I write for myself, as a way of expressing my emotions. I love that writing gives me that
ability. Whether or not my writing is published is another matter. I started to send stories off
to competitions and magazines and publishers and some of it got published. Gradually I
found I was doing this all the time.
What does a typical day look like working with you?
Recently it’s been a lot of reading novels and assessments. Writing some flash fiction stories.
Yoga practice. Sword fighting practice. Researching stuff on Netflix. Staring at a computer
screen. Reading poetry.
What have been the top 3 (It can only be one or two if you like) highlights of your creative
Publishing my first book Black Ice Matter. Winning a prize for it. Publishing my second book
Na Viro. Gaining a PhD in creative writing.
What do you do for self-care/time out?
I read science fiction novels. I love yoga. I recently started learning stage and screen combat
fighting and sword fighting for my side line as a screen extra, and also Tae Kwon Do. I can
almost do a spinning kick buts it’s awkward.
What are your top 3 tips for finishing a creative project?
I find working to a deadline really focusses me and helps to make sure I finish a project,
especially if there are other people involved and they are relying on you and supporting you.
It also helps to have some sort of regular routine.
I write lots of lists and cross things off as I go.
How do you measure your creative success?
It can be so easy to start a project. But there is such a feeling of accomplishment in finishing
a piece of work.