Imbi Neeme is a recovering blogger, impending novelist and compulsive short story writer, whose writing holds a toothpaste-smeared mirror up to her life. She considers herself to be a ‘domestic mystery writer’, spanning everything from ‘Who left the milk out?’ to the secrets we all keep, sometimes even from ourselves. Imbi speaks to Gman on KoolNDeadly. Her manuscript The Spill has been awarded the 2019 Penguin Literary Prize and was published by Penguin Random House Australia 2 June 2020. She is also the recipient of the 2019 Henry Handel Richardson Fellowship for excellence in Short Story Writing.
I was in a car accident with my mother and sister on the Hume Highway when I was ten years old. While we waited for the ambulance, I remember looking at the car, which had flipped on its side, and thinking that it looked fine. But then, when I saw the car later, I realised it had been completely wrecked. The accident itself was a little like that for me. Ostensibly, I was fine – a few bruises, a couple of stitches – but I felt the real impact of the accident for decades afterwards. It really changed me and how I experienced the world. So I decided to take that real-life incident, transfer it to a remote West Australian road, and put two fictitious sisters and their mother in it. And then I began to imagine how that accident might change nothing – and yet everything – all at the same time.