The Ram Boutique: Author Interview – Steph Blythman
We have had so much pleasure in featuring Steph as our Highlighted Author this month for our first academic piece for The Ram Boutique. She absolutely represents another aspect of being a writer, which is the ability to write in a coherent and intellectual manor when presenting non-fiction content. We hope you enjoy the insight Steph chose to share on her chosen subject matter. Enjoy…
Who are you as a person: where are you from, what do you do, what are you doing?
I am from Co.Wicklow in Ireland, but would be Dublin-based for work. Having finished college in May, where I was training in costume design, I am now working to establish myself as a freelance Costume Designer. My last show was the rarely performed Shakespeare play Timon of Athens and was on in the Project Arts Centre in Dublin. I am currently working on another Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing, which will be on in the Iveagh Gardens in Dublin the second week of August.
Your background as a writer?
I have always enjoyed writing, and took delight in creative essays in school. As to academic writing, that began when, as part of the curriculum for Leaving Certificate History, we had to write a 1000-word research project on a topic of our choice relevant to our course. From there I went on to university to study French and Drama Studies, and spent four years writing essays on various topics and areas of interest.
Where did the idea for this piece come from/how do you get inspired to write?
This piece is actually inspired by, and adapted from, my final dissertation at Trinity College Dublin. I have always been interested in clothing, and while at university I developed an interest in the role clothing plays in presenting gender. The title of the dissertation was ‘Costume and the Performativity of Gender and Sexuality on the Early Modern Stage’ and it examined 15th Century fashions, how they were worn, how understandings of gender and sexuality can influence people’s understandings and approach to clothing, and what role this played in theatre of the time.
Your ideal time and place to write?
I tend to be a bit of a night owl, and so I would often write in the evening or through the night. Research obviously has to take place during the day for the most part, as the library is only open then! As to place, I usually write at my desk in my room if it’s a night-time burst, but during the day I would prefer to be in the library. Honestly though, I think I could work anywhere so long as it was quiet and I had no distractions.
Why do you write?
I write to organise my thoughts, to clear my mind and find a way to trace through the myriad of theories and ideas that chase around it. It is sometimes difficult to work out an idea to conclusion without writing some part of it down and tracing the links.
I think the aims of the River Ram Press are incredibly admirable, and I look forward to seeing their work in the future as they hopefully take their company to new heights. It would be a pleasure to work with them again.