Footscray’s Emma Osborne writes horror and fantasy fiction. They speak with Goya Dmytryshchak.
Could you please tell me about your connection to the city of Maribyrnong?
I’ve lived in Footscray for the last seven years and have previously lived in Yarraville in a few different spots. I grew up in Castlemaine but have cousins who live in Yarraville and we’d pop down to visit them on the train when I was a kid. I also worked at Victoria University for five years and deeply appreciate their educational mission. I’ve always had a strong connection to the west.
What do you like about Footscray?
Footscray is just so interesting, so busy and bustling and happening. Everything smells amazing. There is always a new gelato place to try or an old favourite Ethiopian restaurant to visit or an art show to check out. It seems like it would be nearly impossible to eat at every restaurant, hang out at every cafe, soak up the sun in every beer garden. There’s always something new – or old – to discover, and I love that.
What would you change or what could be improved?
I’d love to see a few more green spaces in and around the Footscray CBD. Footscray Park is obviously glorious but it would be great to set aside some more space for little parks, if possible.
What’s your favourite cafe(s)/restaurant(s) in the area?
I mean you really can’t go past Nhu Lan, can you? Speaking of which, I medically need a banh mi right now. I’m also a big fan of Rudimentary (and their Instagram account, Dogs of Rudimentary) and the Small French Bar. Oh, for a glass of French bordeaux.
Could you tell me about your writing?
Absolutely. I write horror, fantasy and dark fantasy (a lovely intersection of the two), primarily. I’ve had short stories and poetry published in some extremely cool speculative fiction magazines, such as Uncanny Magazine and Nightmare Magazine. I have a few longer projects in the works, too. You can also find my short story, Slaughterhouse Boys, in the forthcoming YA horror anthology, Hometown Haunts, edited by the wonderful Poppy Nwosu at Wakefield Press. It launches on Halloween. Keep an eye out.
What’s something people would be surprised to know about you?
I’m non-binary, which means my gender falls somewhere beyond and in-between the binary genders. My pronouns are they/them, and I very much appreciate when folks take the time to adjust to what might be a new set of pronouns for them. I also identify as bisexual, which I guess makes me non-BInary (jokes).
How has your life has changed during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Mostly I am just very tired all the time, which I’m sure is a common experience. I am not someone who has a great time in isolation (really, I’m a classic extrovert) so that has been a huge struggle, but I am learning to subsist on the three minutes of conversation I have with a human being IRL per day (usually a neighbour in the lift but also sometimes a checkout person at the supermarket). I do also go for walks with local friends, which has been a godsend (shout-out Rob and Dan).