Posted by: Lisa Hill | October 6, 2011

Meet an Aussie Author: Charlotte Wood

Animal PeopleCharlotte Wood is the noted author of the recently released Animal People published by Allen & Unwin in October 2011.   I read and enjoyed it  just a short while ago, so I am very pleased that Charlotte has agreed to participate in Meet an Aussie Author.   Animal People is her fourth novel, and follows on from The Children, though it isn’t necessary to read that one first.

Submerged Cathedral, theWood made a splash with her debut novel, Pieces of a Girl which won the 1998 Jim Hamilton Award, was shortlisted for the 2000 Dobbie Award,and was commended in the 2000 Sydney Morning Herald Best Young Novelists Award.  (I haven’t found a copy of Pieces of a Girl yet, and it’s out of print but it’s on my shopping list and one day I hope to locate a copy somewhere).

The ChildrenThe Submerged Cathedral (2005) was shortlisted for the 2005 Miles Franklin Prize, and the 2005 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, South East Asia/South Pacific.

The Children (2008) was shortlisted in the Australian Book Industry Awards 2008 in the category Literary Fiction Book of the Year and should (in my opinion) have been shortlisted more widely.

Click the links to see my review of Animal People and The Children.  (The other links will take you to Fishpond where you can buy copies of the books, which are also widely available in good bookstores.)

Brothers and SistersWood has also written short pieces and edited an anthology of  non-fiction writing called Brothers and Sisters

Here are her answers to my questions:

1.  I was born in the little town of Cooma, NSW, in 1965.

2.  When I was a child I wrote nasty notes to my sister.

3.  The person who encouraged/inspired/mentored me to write is/was… too many more than one person: school English teachers, my university painting teacher, writing teachers – and my close writing friends, all of whom who are way more talented than me – and that is the best thing; I can always learn more from them.

4.  I write in my studio in the back yard – a room on top of a shed.

5.  I write when I don’t feel like it – gluing your bum to the chair is the secret to keeping going.   But usually am at the desk by 8.30 am and keep going until I have 1000 words.

6.  Research is a small part of my writing process, although it seems to be increasing as the years go by.

7.  I keep my published work/s in a disorderly fashion – the books are here and there, and I can rarely find one when I want it.

8.  On the day my first book was published, I felt the proudest I have ever felt.

9.   At the moment, I’m writing a new novel set in a girls’ reform school.

10.When I’m stuck for an idea/word/phrase, I leave it and move on – as Annie Dillard says, the well fills from behind and beneath. If you relax, there will always be more words, stories and ideas.

It’s good to know that there is another novel in the pipeline! 

You can find out more about Charlotte by following her on twitter @charlotteshucks or  on her website.

Thanks to Jessica Post and Renee Senogles at Allen and Unwin for facilitating this interview:)


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