Exclusive Interview with
When did you start writing?
1995 when my father died and I discovered we had German ancestry. Also during VCE the only thing that fitted in with work commitments was fiction writing. I wrote a short story which was highly commended in an Australian national short story competition . I thought, 'someone liked it' and I was hooked to keep writing.
What makes writing your passion?
It is one place where I can be me.
Not in the role of wife and mother but where i can be myself.
How long have you been writing?
2007. Pickle to Pie won the Ilura Press international fiction Quest and got me into a masters at Melbourne University and later into a PhD at Swinburne University of Technology.
What was the feeling when you published your first book?
I had a brilliant experience.
I won the Illura Press International Fiction Quest Competition, and that’s how it was published.
They were a small press publisher, totally ethical and beautiful people. So, I had a very good experience with them. But they don’t have a marketing budget, and you have to get off your own bottom and organise your own marketing program. Unless you’re picked up by a traditional publisher like Pan Macmillan or someone like that, they have a marketing department. So, it is hard going unless you’re picked up by someone who has a strong marketing team.
What’s the story behind your choice of characters?
They were based on dad's family. with name changes of course . It was fact/fiction. My first novel was based on my father’s life. I started to write this when my father had died.
But why I had to go into fiction was because I asked my brother about my father. I remembered him as a difficult man. My brother had a different perception of our childhood and family to me. He was three years older and male. I thought ‘Did we live in the same family?’ Also, the grandmother died before I was born, so I never knew her. And yet I was trying to speak as her, and I thought I can’t put voice to this woman unless I call it fiction.
What annoys you the most in pursuing a writing career?
I love it all. I relish the struggles and the challenges as well as the joyous feeling when everything flows and falls into place.
How do you get over the “writer’s block”?
We all know the writer’s path is never easy, what makes you keep going? What advice would you give to new authors?
Start early and read everything.
If you could go back in time and talk to your younger self, what would you say?
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with the bad ones?
I never let them stop me from writing.
What is the feeling when you get a good review?
I hug them to me.
Have you ever incorporated something that happened to you in real life into your novels?
Which of your characters you can compare yourself with? Did you base that character on you?
What do you think, the book cover is as important as the story?
Definitely important. It has to show the contents inside.
Do you connect with your readers? Do you mind having a chat with them or you prefer to express yourself through your writing?
Love chatting to my readers.
How do you feel when people appreciate your work or recognize you in public?
Also love it when people refer to my work
Who is your favorite author? Why?
What’s the dream? Whom would you like to be as big as?
Would you rewrite any of your books? Why?
If you could switch places with any author – who would that be?
What would you say to the “trolls” on the internet? We all know them – people who like to write awful reviews to books they’ve never read or didn’t like that much, just to annoy the author.
What would you say to your readers?
Share a bit about yourself – where do you live, are you married, do you have kids?
What is your day job if you have one?
After being awarded the phd I decided to pass on the knowledge to others so i got a job teaching Memoir writing at a Community house in Victoria, Australia.
What are your hobbies? What do you do in your free time?
Bike riding and spending time with my potted friends.
Did you have a happy childhood?
I had a very happy childhood. All in the same house in Parkdale vic
Is there a particular experience that made you start writing?
Do you have unpublished books? What are they about?
Dyed Pretty is about a hairdresser who has multiple affairs, a woman
obsessed with leaving a pretty corpse.
Yes - she is based on someone I once knew, but long ago died pretty.
What do you think should be improved in the education of our children? What do we lack?
If you were allowed 3 wishes – what would they be?
What is your favorite music?
Anything from opera.
'In the depths of the temple' from the Pearl Fishers, comes to mind:
Share a secret with us 🙂