Topic archives: writing

Grey areas of madness: an interview with Jon Ronson, on <i>The Psychopath Test</i>

Grey areas of madness: an interview with Jon Ronson, on The Psychopath Test

October 27, 2011 10

Picador, Australia, 9780330451369 (paperback) In The Psychopath Test Jon Ronson takes us on journey through the mad ‘industry’ of madness. And it’s not all acid-tripping psychopaths. Ronson follows leads to high-security prisons, a mansion filled with predators… and to L Ron Hubbard’s coca cola stain. What results is an inevitably open-ended, sometimes frightening and often hilarious look […]

Between worlds: Dominic Smith on <i>Bright and Distant Shores</i>

Between worlds: Dominic Smith on Bright and Distant Shores

September 27, 2011

Allen & Unwin, 9781742374161, 2011 (Aus paperback, ebook + US/Kindle) Bright and Distant Shores is hugely imaginative historical fiction. It’s set just before the dawn of the 20th century in Chicago and the South Pacific. Owen Graves is sent by Hale Gray, the president of Chicago First Equitable, to collect some ‘special items’ to display […]

Writing on writing: guest post by Harry Bingham

Writing on writing: guest post by Harry Bingham

June 6, 2011 2

  I’ve been a professional writer for more than ten years,  but it was only recently, when asked to produce a How to Write book by A&C Black/Bloomsbury, that I came to think systematically about this craft of ours. I mean ‘systematically’ in two different dimensions. First, there’s the whole area of technique. How, precisely, […]

Typecasting and narrative voice at the 2011 Emerging Writers’ Festival

Typecasting and narrative voice at the 2011 Emerging Writers’ Festival

May 30, 2011 4

The Emerging Writers’ Festival, in its usual form, has thus far been about tequila shots and one long drunken conversation about The Wall. Yesterday I went to some actual sessions. Here’s a write-up of two of those. Typecast The first session I attended yesterday was all about ‘typecasting’. Do the authors on the panel agree with […]

The epic qualities of outwardly ordinary lives: <i>By Nightfall</i> and Michael Cunningham in Australia

The epic qualities of outwardly ordinary lives: By Nightfall and Michael Cunningham in Australia

May 25, 2011 7

By Nightfall, Michael Cunningham, HarperCollins (Aus pb, Aus ebook, US and Kindle, UK) Over the past few days I’ve been in the audience of four sessions featuring my favourite American author Michael Cunningham. Cunningham’s latest novel is By Nightfall. I’ve drafted a few posts on it since I read it, but was never able to adequately […]

Verity La interview

May 15, 2011 2

Alec Patric has asked me a few probing questions over at Verity La. If you’re interested in me as a writer (and person), or are curious about my work, you might want to check it out.

‘I want to read that, too!’ Wanting to know and be everything (but then take my time with something)

December 7, 2010 1

The Christmas party season is in full swing. I’ve forgotten names, drank too much, jumped on a trampoline, been told secrets, held hands with sweaty strangers (swing dancing), stuttered (kinda a new one) and swapped WIP stories with emerging and published writers. There’s a lot of pressure to be in the know. To have read […]

‘You Will Notice That Hallways Are Painted’ in <i>Torpedo Greatest Hits</i>

‘You Will Notice That Hallways Are Painted’ in Torpedo Greatest Hits

November 13, 2010

Torpedo Greatest Hits ed. Chris Flynn Hunter Publishers 9780980517989 (Aus) A few months ago this collection was released with my story ‘You Will Notice That Hallways Are Painted’, along with stories by Steven Amsterdam, Mandy Ord, Jon Bauer, Krissy Kneen, Toby Litt, Ruby Murray, Josephine Rowe and even Richard Brautigan. The story was written in […]

A dream-logic London squid riff: an interview with China Miéville (part one)

A dream-logic London squid riff: an interview with China Miéville (part one)

October 15, 2010 6

China Miéville’s Kraken (Aus, US, UK) is savvy, exuberant, sci-fantastical fiction – a novel about a stolen giant squid and the ensuing adventures of museum curator Billy Harrow. It’s a super-fun read, set in a richly imaginative alternate London, filled with sassy, dirty, sweet, dangerous and apparitious characters. It was great to be able to have […]

‘What is a short story?’ Jon Bauer’s <i>Sleepers Almanac</i> and app launch speech

‘What is a short story?’ Jon Bauer’s Sleepers Almanac and app launch speech

September 3, 2010 1

Last night, author Jon Bauer (Rocks in the Belly, Scribe) launched the sixth Sleepers Almanac and the new Sleepers literary app at the Bella Union Bar, Trades Hall, Melbourne. I thought his speech was wonderful, so with Jon’s kind permission, here it is for you all to read: Have you ever had that moment on a […]

Like, embrace the pain: the Bret Easton Ellis interview (part 1)

Like, embrace the pain: the Bret Easton Ellis interview (part 1)

August 18, 2010 4

Pictured: Carrie, Samantha, Carrie Let’s begin at the end. After Kathy Charles and I finished our interview with the very engaging Bret Easton Ellis, we sat with his publicist over a couple of glasses of Chandon, waiting for Ellis to wrap-up with our friend Robbie Coleman. Robbie emerged, white-faced and swearing, revealing that the interviewee had turned interviewer […]

<i>Alex y Robert</i> by Wena Poon: virtual book tour

Alex y Robert by Wena Poon: virtual book tour

July 29, 2010 1

I met the talented, vivacious Singapore-born American writer Wena Poon last October, sharing a taxi ride from Denpasar airport to Ubud, Bali, for the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival. In that taxi and during her panels I learnt that Wena was dauntingly ‘together’ – interweaving careers in writing and Law, travelling the world, and seeming like she was […]

Guest review: Elizabeth Bryer on Josephine Rowe’s <i>How a Moth Becomes a Boat</i>

Guest review: Elizabeth Bryer on Josephine Rowe’s How a Moth Becomes a Boat

July 18, 2010 4

How a Moth Becomes a Boat Josephine Rowe Hunter Publishers, 2010 (Aus) 9780980397420 Reviewed by Elizabeth Bryer In Meanjin 67:2, 2008, Wayne Macauley describes the painstaking process he underwent in his search for a publisher for his allegorical novel, Blueprints for a Barbed-Wire Canoe, which went on to receive rave reviews and was even picked for […]

Exquisite restraint for maximum expression: an interview with Colm Tóibín (part two)

Exquisite restraint for maximum expression: an interview with Colm Tóibín (part two)

July 7, 2010 5

Brooklyn Colm Toibin (Aus, US) Picador 9780330425612 Part one of this interview can be found here. Tóibín has, to date, written or edited 21 books. I asked him which had been the most difficult to write, and which had been the most joyful. He said: ‘There’s a long story in the collection Mothers and Sons which I […]

What I’m learning about my writing process

What I’m learning about my writing process

June 9, 2010 7

Thanks to the wonderful Victorian Writers’ Centre, I received a fellowship which allows me three months in a studio in Glenfern, St Kilda – a gorgeous heritage house. Seventy percent of my Doctor of Creative Arts will be fiction, and so – I have begun the novel. As this is the first time since I was […]

Joel Magarey’s <i>Exposure: A Journey</i>

Joel Magarey’s Exposure: A Journey

May 18, 2010 6

Exposure: A Journey Joel Magarey Wakefield Press (Australia) 9781862548237 2009 I write this review just moments after finishing the book, and really, I’m aching from it. Joel Magarey has just taken me on an adventure – around the world, through illness and through love. The narrative flows back and forth between periods in the ’80s and ’90s […]

Elif Batuman, author of <i>The Possessed</i>: a ‘responsive’ interview

Elif Batuman, author of The Possessed: a ‘responsive’ interview

May 13, 2010 3

Elif Batuman’s The Possessed (Aus, US/Kindle) is a personalised, intelligent, humorous exploration of Russian literature; and of academia, reading, and writers – with plenty of travel and adventure. It’s the kind of book you devour and dog-ear – where you’re learning with delight, being provided insight into authors, stories, countries, languages and lifestyles. I thought Elif would […]

On writing, blogging and social media: an interview from <i>Victorian Writer</i>

On writing, blogging and social media: an interview from Victorian Writer

April 14, 2010 4

After reading A.S. Patric’s thoughts on blogging, in an interview he did for Nigel Featherstone at the Canberra Times, I thought I’d reprint a recent interview I did for Victorian Writer, the Victorian Writers’ Centre magazine, to add to the conversation. Enjoy! And please share your thoughts in the comments, or via the Facebook fan page, Twitter, your own blogs, […]

Soul-scorching voyage (bring it on!)

February 18, 2010 1

This is absolutely the best article I’ve read for a while on contemporary issues in writing – the way it’s talked about, taught, and so on: ‘A Writing Career Becomes Harder to Scale’, by Dani Shapiro. Shapiro says:  ‘the decisive factor is what I call endurability: that is, the ability to deal effectively with uncertainty, […]

Guest review: Elena Gomez on Janine Burke’s <i>Source: Nature’s Healing Role in Art and Writing</i>

Guest review: Elena Gomez on Janine Burke’s Source: Nature’s Healing Role in Art and Writing

February 5, 2010

Allen & Unwin November 2009 (Aus) 9781741759177 The meticulous research that went into this book is a testament to renowned art historian Janine Burke’s passion for art and its influences. In Source, she explores the resonating impact of nature and environment on the works of various writers and artists of the modern era. I have […]