As you may have noticed from my sidebar, I am currently reading and enjoying 8 States of Catastrophe, by Karen Lee Thompson whose guest reviews of short story collections and Alice Pung’s new memoir, Her Father’s Daughter have appeared on this blog recently. (See David Malouf’s Antipodes; The Hanged Man in the Garden by Marion Halligan and Dressing Up for the Carnival by Carol Shields.).
Although she has her hands full with study and exams and work on her latest novel – Karen has kindly agreed to participate in Meet an Aussie Author - so here she is!
1. I was born into a large and complicated family in 1958.
2. When I was a child I wrote mainly about myself: a chubby would-be ballerina with two left feet, a freckle faced singer strumming a guitar badly, a child with an imagination so fanciful it was almost debilitating.
3. The person who encouraged me to write was, when I was young, a high-school English teacher Mr Downs. These days, I am encouraged by fellow writers and I gain inspiration from everyone I meet (every face has a story).
4. I write in a stained old cardigan two sizes too big or in my underwear; in my head, on a pad, on a computer; in the middle of the night and at sundown; in sickness and in health.
5. I write whenever I possibly can.
6. Research is, at first, terrifying then challenging, educational and finally, exciting and fulfilling.
7. I keep my published work in a presentation folder (articles and short-stories) and my novel 8 States of Catastrophe in a beautiful frame with a plaque, a present from my son and daughter-in-law.
8. On the day my first book was published, I think I cried, screamed and laughed but my memory is a little hazy (something to do with the champagne perhaps).
9. At the moment, I am writing some promotional notes for my second manuscript (a psychological thriller which hasn’t yet found a publishing home), a short story, a book review and a new and entirely different novel featuring a retired psychologist.
10. When I’m stuck for an idea/word/phrase, I think about doing housework and that scares the idea/word/phrase out of me.
I can see from Karen’s replies where the quirky sense of humour which laces 8 States of Catastrophe comes from!
Karen blogs at Karen Lee Thompson.
Watch out for my review of 8 States of Catastrophe in a week or so.