An Online Interview with Lisa Dublin
by Qian Cao Leo
Lisa Dublin is from the Caribbean island of Saint Lucia, and she moved to Edmonton with her family in 2013. Poetry, performance poetry, and writing are the things she has always loved. She holds an MBA from the Australian Institute of Business, and most recently earned an MA in English from the University of Alberta. She has been a lecturer, a TV presenter/producer and business owner. She published her first chapbook called Sani Baat – A Voice Throwing, in 2012. In her writing, she has things to say about a few themes: faith, family, race, the human capacity to overcome, and people in the workplace. Something that interested me quite a lot about her background is her MBA from the Australian Institute of Business, as I also want to study Business in the future. I thought that her experience and advice would resonate with me. Therefore, I decided to interview her!
Q C L: I’ve learned that you hold an MBA from the Australian Institute of Business, and most recently earned an MA in English from the University of Alberta. I want to study in business too. Can you tell me your university experiences and skills that helped you during your writing? How do they help you?
My university experiences have given me a lot of raw material for my writing. The novel that I am working on now is based on my undergraduate experience in the Caribbean. Also, because my two Master’s degrees reflect such different areas (business and literature), I have been challenged to find ways to combine the knowledge and skills from both business and writing life.
Q C L: I am curious as to whether people around you affect your writing, do they change your writing mood? How do they influence your writing? Is your story inspired by people around you?
Not really, or not yet. I have a few things to say that are really internally motivated. I believe that after I publish this novel, I will be able to engage society at a more extrinsic level. For now, I am focused on writing the themes that have sprung from within me.
Q C L: About the themes you mentioned on your website, is there a clear ranking in your mind? Is there any one reason why you started writing?
Hmm, ranking my themes is difficult. I would rather say that I give priority to the intersection of life with faith, race with faith, family with faith. I don’t know if that makes much sense, but for me, life is not black and white, and I realize that we live in the interstices and overlaps, and grey areas. I think that is where a lot of my meaning comes from.
Secondly, I started writing from a very early age just because I was good at it and I enjoyed it. So, it has always been a thing for me.
As an international student, my biggest worry is that I might look a little bit rude in the questions because of my poor English. However, Dublin assured me that I was “Not rude at all, and your English is not too bad, honestly! I will be happy to answer your questions.” She encouraged me to speak more English, and she answered my questions very carefully. This was my first time interviewing a writer, and I really enjoyed it. Not only because of her encouragement and support, but also because I learned something from her responses. She mentioned that she is being challenged to find ways to combine the knowledge and skills from both her business and writing life, which inspired me to connect my daily life with the knowledge I learned in university. And her answer for the third question also makes me rethink what family and race mean in my own life.