Last Updated on August 18, 2023 by BiblioLifestyle
What was the last book that you read that you’d now recommend?
Small Things Like These, by Clare Keegan.
Have you read any classics lately that you were reading for the first time?
I loved Middlemarch, so have just started reading Daniel Deronda, by George Elliot.
Do you re-read books And if yes, what was your last re-read?
The last book I re-read was Atonement, by Ian McEwan. The next book I will re-read is Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury.
What are your go-to genres?
Literary fiction and Speculative fiction.
What is your favorite childhood book?
The Trixie Belden Series.
What books are on your bedside table right now?
On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, by Ocean Vuong; Wifedom, by Anna Funder; Liberation Day, by George Saunders; Seamus Heaney: New Selected Poems 1966-1987.
Do you bookmark or dogear your page in a book?
Both. I bookmark where I’m up to, and dogear pages with beautiful passages.
What is your ideal reading setting?
Bed, the coach, the beach, the café (every setting is a good setting to read.)
Tell us about your favorite indie bookstore?
Matilda in the Adelaide Hills. They know my name, they know my reading tastes, they recommend great books, and hold wonderful author talks.
What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?
Writing my woes into a journal – at the end of the page life was not so heartbreaking.
What literary pilgrimages have you gone on?
Most of my literary pilgrimages are leaps of imagining as I read the words of writers. But in my pursuit to understand the people behind the Oxford English Dictionary, I’ve travelled to Oxford, to the home of James Murray, the editor, and to the archives of Oxford University Press.
Where do you get most of your writing and editing done?
In my local café.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
It is my happy place (as is my local café). It sustains me (as does coffee.)
How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
A thousand first lines, and enigmatic paragraphs, but just one half-finished book – the one I am currently working on.
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
I read professional reviews and when a book is first published, I glance at Goodreads (and then I stop). I deal with the good and bad in much the same way – with curiosity about what a reader might have brought to the book as they read it. So far, I have been neither elated nor devastated by a review.
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
That writing is part of who you, are so don’t deny it. Also, don’t treat it like some precious thing that needs perfect conditions to thrive – words can grow anywhere and at any time.
When you’re not reading or writing, what are you doing?
Admin. And walking. And loving. And parenting. And caring for parents. And cooking. And being a friend. Life, essentially.
What are your three favorite things right now?
Good coffee. My new notebook, with its blank pages full of potential. My old purple beanie (it’s cold where I live at this time of year.)
What is your favorite travel destination and why?
Italy. The food, the love of life, the architecture and history, memories of travelling around with my family and working on organic farms.
What’s your favorite meal and go-to drink order?
Pappardelle with good olive oil and shaved truffle, with a glass of shiraz.
What six people, living or dead, would you invite to a dinner party?
All women. All dead. All with an experience of the literary that is too often overlooked. Vera Nabokov, Catherine Dickens, Vanessa Bell, Eileen O’Shaughnessy, Hadley Richardson, Claire Clairmont.
If a movie was made of your life, what genre would it be, and who would play you?
A low-budget indie with limited release. I would be played by someone taller, thinner, and better-looking than me.
What’s the last TV show or movie you watched that was really good?
A film – The Menu.
You have to sing karaoke; what song do you pick?
Son of a Preacher Man, by Dusty Springfield.
If you were being taken to a deserted island and could only bring one book, what would it be?
A notebook, with hundreds of pages.