Posted by: Lisa Hill | September 4, 2011

Meet an Aussie Author: Jon Doust

It may surprise my readers, but it’s not easy to do these Meet an Aussie Author profiles.   It usually means contacting the author through his or her publisher, and sometimes my requests get lost in bigger, more bureaucratic publishing houses.  In smaller ones it’s possibly the pressure of work that puts the request in the do-it-later pile, and sometimes I get a polite and kindly refusal because the publisher thinks the author is so succesful that they don’t need the exposure.  Sometimes the request gets passed on but a busy author doesn’t have time, isn’t interested or forgets about it.  It is a source of some angst for me that I have had a greater failure rate with female authors …

Boy on a WireAnyway I was very pleased to stumble on Jon Doust on Good Reads and he responded to my initial query within 24 hours and sent his answers 24 hours after that!  (Love your author photo, Jon!)  Jon made an impressive splash with his debut novel Boy on a Wire which was longlisted for the 2010 Miles Franklin award amid the likes of Alex Miller, Brian Castro, David Foster and Peter Carey.   See my review  and a whole lot of others here).   The ANZ LitLovers book group had a great time discussing this book, and I see from the Fremantle Press website that there are book group notes available for it now.  There are teaching notes too because the novel also crosses over into the YA market, and is now on secondary school reading lists.

Here are Jon’s responses to my questions:

1. I was born… in Bridgetown WA, the  year my grandmother was chased out of her home by her drunken husband wielding  an axe.

2. When I was a child I wrote snippets in a small diary my mother gave me and letters  home from boarding school. My mother saved many of the letters and I saved the  diary. Both helped me in the writing of my first  novel.

3. The person who inspired me to write  was… my grandfather, Roy Doust, a journalist  and story-teller. And years later a man I wrote two children’s books with,  Ken Spillman. Ken mentored me and rekindled what I realised was my first  love.

4. I write in… a demented, disordered state.

5. I write when… the muse embraces me  and when I have either an imposed or contrived deadline.

6. Research is…. Something I love  doing and it always swallows up more time than I have.

7. I keep my published work/s  in … a box in the back of my car.

8. On the day my first book was published,  I… probably cried.

9. At the moment, I’m writing  … .this. And later I’ll get onto the final novel in the  trilogy – “One boy’s journey to man”.

10.When I’m stuck for an idea/word/phrase,  I … think I’m probably just that bit closer  to death.

Jon blogs at The Jon Doust Blog, Another Excuse for a Rant and has a website which reveals his other diverse activities here.  I’m looking forward to his next novel!


  1. I love reading these interviews. I hope the hard work doesn’t get you down. I will definitely try and read something by Jon


    • Thank you, Becky:) I didn’t mean to give the impression that doing these was dispiriting – far from it. I love learning about my favourite authors too!


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