featured Makarelle author, "writer, musician, accomplished frisbee soloist"
Makarelle: Congratulations on being the featured short story in ‘Love Is Love’. Can you tell us what the inspiration was behind ‘Lift’?
Toby Goodwin: I’m very happy to have been chosen for the featured story, so thank you very much for that! But, yeah, the idea for Lift actually came from a few different places, so last year I read Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo and In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado, which were both incredible books touching upon this theme of complicated (and sometimes disastrous) same-sex relationships. I was inspired by these books, and by another similar story told to me by a friend. The issue just felt important. These days, we see the likes of Disney portraying minority groups as these flawless, pedestaled, super-beings, because they think that’s what sells tickets, but the reality is that these people are just that: people, and when love is involved, things aren’t always sunshine and candyfloss. If we want to talk about equality in literature, then shouldn’t we show realistic representations of real people?
Toby Goodwin (ctd.): So anyways; I had all of that rattling around in my head for quite some time, but I didn’t know how to put it into a story until a few weeks ago, when I had to get my eyes tested in Specsavers. I was standing in the queue, having just been curtly instructed in the hand sanitising procedures, and I saw an elderly gentleman stuck in the disability lift at the far end of the room, talking absolute nonsense to rather a large group of irritated-looking floor staff. And I thought, that’s it: there’s my unlikely hero.
Makarelle: Where is your favourite place to write and why?
Toby Goodwin: I write notes all the time. I’m always switched on, wherever I am, and I’m paying attention to the things around me for ideas (I take a lot of notes on my phone). But all of the actual writing goes on in my bedroom on my desktop computer. I hate writing on laptops; the keys aren’t clacky enough.
Makarelle: What book are you reading at the moment?
Toby Goodwin: Right now, I’m reading Just Above My Head by James Baldwin. A story about a man who has just been told that his blues musician brother has died on the floor of some seedy pub, and he goes through all of these exquisitely described scenes from their lives up to that point, slowly unravelling a greater image of the American blues story. I’m loving it so far.
Makarelle: Do you have any other published work for people to read?
Toby Goodwin: I’ve had a few things published here and there, and I made a short podcast series last year. The best way to find it all is through my website at: www.tobygoodwin.com