I’ve had a lovely afternoon! It was my pleasure to chair a panel of wonderful authors at the Stonnington Literary Festival, and it was such a pleasure to meet them in person after getting to know them through their books.
The theme was inspiration in writing and the personal stories that influence a writer’s work, and the panel consisted of
- Helen Brown, author of the bestselling memoir Cleo, How an Uppity Cat Helped Heal a Family (2009) and its follow-up After Cleo Came Jonah subtitled How a crazy kitten and a rebelling daughter turned out to be blessings in disguise (2012). Cleo sold half a million copies and has been translated into16 languages, and is about to made into a movie by South Pacific Pictures (makers of The Whale Rider). You can read my review of After Cleo, Came Jonah here. You can read more about Helen on her blog.
- Toni Jordan, the best-selling author of Addition(2008), Fall Girl (2010) and now Nine Days. I’ve featured Toni on Meet an Aussie Author and you can read my reviews of Fall Girl and Nine Days by following this link. I’ve met up with Toni at a few literary events here in Melbourne and it is always a pleasure to listen to what she has to say. The good news is that the movie of Addition is not far away!
- Meme McDonald is a versatile author across a variety of genres, including the award winning Love Like Water (read my review here and a Sensational Snippet here), My Girragundji and Put Your Whole Self in which won the NSW Premier’s Literary Award for non-fiction and the Braille & Talking Book award in 1993; and
- Fiona Wood who’s the well-known writer of TV shows including Marshall Law, Always Greener, The Secret Life of Us, MDA, Headland, Home and Away, Neighbours, and the children’s shows Silver Sun and Sleepover Club. She’s also a script consultant. Six Impossible Things (2010) is her first YA novel. It was shortlisted for the Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) Book of the Year 2011, for Older Readers, and you can read my review here. Fiona’s next book is called Wildlife and you can keep track of its publication date at her blog.
It was fascinating to hear these authors talk about what inspires them, but I was especially interested to hear how supportive the literary community is in Australia. All the authors spoke highly of their editors and publishers, and how they nurtured these authors above and beyond what anyone might expect. Well done to everyone at Text Publishing, Allen & Unwin, Pan Macmillan and Arena!
It was also really nice to receive as a thank-you a beautiful book called The pride of Prahran : a history of the Prahran Library, 1860-2010 by Stella M. Barber.
Many thanks to my dear ffriend Carol who chauffered me home afterwards, and to Marg Bates from Adventures of an Intrepid Reader for coming along.