This week I’ve moved Writers’ Block to Geelong in deference to my guest, Ellie O’Neill, but I’ve still created a piece of the mystical island, Hy Brasil. To the outside world it’s shrouded in mist, but cocooned within that mist is a way of life the islanders protect fiercely. Especially the oldies. They’ve been giving me the evil eye as I wait on one of the low stone walls that honeycomb the island. They are strangely strong, these old islanders, and, when they think I’m not looking, unbelievably content. I hope they’ll be more welcoming to my guest, whose second child is due any day. Here she comes now, looking as bright as the landscape, ready to chat about her latest novel of magical realism and Irish fables, The Enchanted Island.
Category: Writers Block Interviews
Writers Block Interviews: A chat with fiction authors across all genres about books and their writing process.
For the first time in years, the roller door is up and a lamp burns brightly casting shadows across an old sofa and the dog-eared biography of Katharine Hepburn. The garage still smells of Pa—of sweat, engine oil and stale booze—though the old man hasn’t been here in a while. This is Tom’s place. A place of memories and secrets and startling discoveries. I’m here to welcome Australian author and creator of the wonderful Tom Houghton, a novel that deserves to become a classic. Join me in welcoming Todd Alexander.
From the relative cool of a shady spot on the De Lasset estate I observe the May rose harvest of Grasse. It’s the time of the Great War and with all the men away it’s women, wearing simple cotton skirts and shirts, who are bent over the sea of pink blooms, plucking and filling their sacks with petals that will form the heart of Grasse perfume. Tea has been laid out in honor of my special guest and creator of the story contained within this wonderful vista, multi-talented Australian writer Fiona McIntosh.
Situated in an open-fronted bar on the famous Walking Street of Pattaya, the Coconut Club isn’t a place I’d normally inhabit. Especially not alone. Still, after the late afternoon humidity of Pattaya I’m grateful for the chill airconditioning. A slender Thai beauty works her grass skirt and flirtations on the leering blokes, using drinking games and flattery to keep the beer flowing. At the bar PI Jayne Keeney is on a case, looking pale and interesting as she coaxes information from another of the waitresses. She hasn’t spotted me, which is fine, because I’m here to meet her creator, award winning Melbourne writer Angela Savage.
Today I’m living the dream: red sports car, the Amalfi coast, and a chance to chat with talented screenwriter and author of the suspense-filled debut The Lost Swimmer, a novel as thrilling as this drive along the famous coastal road high above the Tyrrhenian Sea. I’m hoping our conversation will distract us from the sheer drop just metres beyond the passenger door. Cross your fingers a tourist bus doesn’t cut one of those blind bends ahead, and join me in welcoming Ann Turner.
Today I’m reconnecting with one of my favourite women’s fiction authors. We’ve met her before—you might remember our chat about her debut novel House for All Seasons—but this time I’m waiting just outside Saddleton ready to be collected by my guest as she takes us on a quick trip around the landscape of her latest novel, Season of Shadow and Light. Here she comes now, tearing up the unsealed road in an old ute named ‘The Beast’. Please join me in welcoming Jenn J McLeod.
A little nervous today! It’s a subdued summer’s day, the kind you only get in London, and I’ve escaped the mania of Royal Wedding Fever to sit in this tiny slice of tearoom in the cloisters of St Bartholomew the Great to await my very special guest—a woman whom I’ve long admired (and envied!). She is best known in Australia as the creator of McLeod’s Daughters, but is a woman of many talents, including historical fiction. I’ve been privileged enough to read an advance proof of her latest novel, Wild Wood, a time-slip novel with a touch of mysticism. Please join me in welcoming Posie-Graeme-Evans.
A couple of kids give me the eye as I saunter past the flaking blue exterior and into the Croydon’s front bar, which is as in need of an overhaul as the regulars propping up the bar. At least the beer-tainted airconditioning gets rid of the smell of weed from the rollies the kids were smoking. I take a seat. The guy in the corner does his best to hide in his baggy black shirt, but from his blond head to his deliberately scuffed shoes I peg him as a cop. Still, he’s easy on the eye while I wait for my special guest, debut romantic suspense author, Sandy Vaile. Ah, here she comes now.
Smoke from the commune’s chimney is a shadow against the ochre streaked sky. Fallen leaves and dry twigs crackle and snap underfoot, but the sound is lost beneath the nighttime calls of wildlife as the day’s heat begins to dissipate. I’m here with an Australian crime writer who doesn’t shy away from the dark side of humanity and who has made an outstanding contribution to writing in Queensland (and has the 2012 QWC Jonno Award to prove it!). Join me in welcoming Sandy Curtis as we discuss her latest novel Grievous Harm.
It’s mid-afternoon on a Friday. The temperature outside has hit a scorching 40 degrees, and the wood-panelled walls, beery aroma and chink of wine glasses from behind the bar of the Farmers Arms Hotel couldn’t be more welcoming. From a shadowed corner comes the flirtatious laughter of a dark-haired woman who looks ready to devour her companion. The kitchen beyond the gold-timbered bar boasts shouted orders and the delicious scent of garlic and sizzling meats; no wonder the dining room is packed with tourists and locals. I’m here to meet crime writer Sandi Wallace. Join us as we chat about her five star debut novel Tell Me Why